A third of staff face communication problems, reveals Microsoft

A third of staff face communication problems, reveals Microsoft
Research shows small and medium-sized firms are failing to foster effective collaboration

Elly Yates-Roberts |

A new report conducted by Microsoft and YouGov has found that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across the UK are suffering from a culture of poor communication. According to the research, over a third of staff at such companies reported a failure to communicate as their biggest cause of stress.

The Driving Growth in Small Business report revealed that many SMB employees are unhappy with the current culture in their workplace, with 20% saying that communication between colleagues was unproductive.

When asked what form this communication took, face to face engagement was the most common response, with 74% saying that they used it daily. Email was the second most common method at 69%, while phone calls were third at 55%. Only 19% of those surveyed made use of collaboration platform technologies such as Microsoft Teams, despite almost a third of leaders saying they want a technology platform to more easily share information with employees.

“Given the value of SMBs to the UK economy, small businesses need to be taking advantage of every competitive edge available to them to improve staff performance and motivation as well as attracting and retaining top talent, said Nick Hedderman, director of modern workplace business group at Microsoft UK. “Our mission is to help SMBs thrive in the modern workplace, and because technology has transformed the way we live, work and connect with others, ensuring SMBs can harness this technology to drive productivity is vital to that mission.”

The report highlights the importance of providing staff with information in order to remain competitive. However, 36% of employees say their workplace does not have a culture of transparency, and only 18% saying that their business has a clear vision or goal.

“In a small business it’s all too easy to stop proactively communicating when things get busy – a good problem to have, but an important one to solve,” said Josh Clarke, director of coffee for Clifton Coffee Roasters and a Microsoft Teams customer. “Maintaining the ability to communicate effectively and transparently is key to helping support our unique working culture – something that we find makes the business more attractive to the team.”

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