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Preferred methods to communicate with distant colleagues

The source of this data is a survey by Robert Half Legal, referred to in the ACC Docket, Vol. 30, June 2008 at 52. The data comes from a “survey of 150 lawyers from among the largest corporations in the United States and Canada” (See my post of June 22, 2008: critique of the data source

The respondents were asked, “When working with colleagues who telecommute or are located in remote locations, which of the following, in your opinion, is the most effective method for maintaining communication?”

E-mail 62%
Telephone/conference calls 16%
In-person meeting 7%
Videoconference 5%
Paper memo 2%
None/no effective method 5%
Don’t know 3%

I find it hard to credit that so many people do not believe that sitting in front of someone and talking with them is not the supreme method for communicating. If face-to-face isn’t possible, a telephone call does the job so much better than e-mail. But perhaps the word “maintaining” led respondents to assume familiarity of the communicators and that the content going back and forth is mostly facts and keeping people informed. Or, worse, e-mail has become the premier form of contact.