Have you ever noticed how certain employees or teams within the workplace seem to isolate themselves from everyone else? There is always that one person or group that no one seems to know very well. This makes it difficult to know where their production levels happen to be, what the quality of their work is, or to determine if their actions are beneficial to the overall company mission. A transparent system of communication can help to solve these problems.
Are there certain disadvantages to an open system of communication that must be considered as well? Here is a look at the key pros and cons of communication in the workplace.
What Are the Pros of Communication in the Workplace?
1. It opens up additional avenues for creativity to drive down.
Humans are intricate beings who have amazing stories to tell. The experiences that we each have are unique to ourselves. There really is no one in this world who is exactly like us. It is this level of individuality that inspires creativity in a wide variety of ways. When there is adequate communication in the workplace, this creativity can be sent to where it needs to go so a job can get done.
2. It closes the distance that exists between two people or groups.
Communication ultimately allows one person or group to step into the shoes of someone else, even if it is only for a brief period of time. This allows each party to the communication to experience a perspective that is outside of their own. The information that is gathered from such an experience can then deepen a personal perspective while it draws people together.
3. Workplace communication can inspire innovation.
What is unique about human communication is that it conveys information. Humans are like sponges, absorbing little bits of data and influence from those who are around them every day. This information can be passed along not only from person to person, but from generation to generation. Communication in the workplace can inspire innovation because a fresh set of eyes can see gaps in the information that others might not have been able to see.
4. It happens quickly and requires little in the way of time investment.
In the past, it was almost a necessity for remote teams to work independently of one another because of communication limitations. Those limitations no longer exist. If it is possible to speak in real-time with an office that is half a world away, then it is possible to speak with the employee who sits three desks down to get their perspective on things. Many of the limitations that get placed on communication today are self-imposed.
What Are the Cons of Communication in the Workplace?
1. Sometimes communication is more about deception.
One of the harsh truths about the workplace is that there are always politics in play. What makes us all different can make us stronger when we can come together, but it can also cause people to gather in groups where they feel most comfortable. If one group wants to gain an advantage over another group, then the communication in the workplace may be deceptive in nature so that edge can be obtained.
2. It can tear people apart.
Communication can be helpful in bringing people together, but it can also drive a wedge between them as well. There is such a thing as too much honesty. Telling someone that they are a lousy, unproductive worker might be a description of the truth, but it doesn’t help to build that person up to become productive. If we are not careful about the words that we choose to say in the workplace, then people can be driven apart.
3. It creates too much connectivity at times.
Some communication in the workplace is a good thing. With modern technology, however, many workers are hyper-connected to each other. There is no place where someone can escape unless they decide to unplug themselves from their network. When that happens, they may find peace, but they’ll also lose out on the communication that happens while they’re on the outside, creating a future disadvantage. In some ways, hyper-connectivity is a no-win situation.
4. Communication can be difficult to decipher at times.
Communication can happen quickly today, but that doesn’t mean a complete understanding has been conveyed through that quick burst of data. Workplace communications today can be limited and fast, making it difficult to figure out what is being said or what the purpose of the intentions happen to be. This makes miscommunication more likely simply because there are so many efforts to communicate with one another today.
The pros and cons of communication in the workplace show that sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. Communication should be effective, precise, and meaningful. When that happens, there is no limit to the stories that can be told.