SOURCE: Plantronics, Inc.

Plantronics, Inc.

September 30, 2010 08:00 ET

Plantronics Study Reveals How Global Professionals Utilize New and Traditional Communication Technologies to Succeed at Work

Texting, Social Media, Email, Phone Calls, Twitter, Video Conferences, Face-to-Face Meetings: How Do You Work?

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - September 30, 2010) -  According to a new global study conducted by Plantronics (NYSE: PLT) and released at the GigaOm Mobilize conference, today's busy professional is increasingly adept at harnessing new and traditional communication methods to be successful in the modern workplace. The "How We Work: Communication Trends of Business Professionals" study surveyed more than 1,800 employees in six countries about their communication habits and preferences. The findings reveal that professionals are communicating more today than ever before and are very smart about which tools to use for given situations. The full study can be downloaded today at www.plantronics.com/howwework.

Mixing New and Traditional Communications
The How We Work study includes questions related to both traditional communication methods such as email, in-person meetings and one-to-one phone calls, and more recent options like SMS, social media and video conferencing. The study found that personal communication methods, like SMS and social networking, are emerging in the enterprise for work-related topics, and that professionals are heavily reliant on email and phone communications for collaboration. In fact, usage of nearly every form of communication has increased over the past five years.

The findings show that professionals rely on more traditional forms of communication to drive results. 83 percent of professionals say email is "critical" to their overall success and productivity, and 81 percent said the same for phone calls. Email and phone ranked the highest above all other forms of communication with audio conferences third at 61%. Sending or receiving IM rated as critical for only 38 percent of respondents while social media ranked last at 19 percent.

Adapting Communication for Critical Situations
Today's enterprise workers are instinctively choosing tools that make the most sense for a given situation, whether it is a status update or collaborative event such as a brainstorming session. The more critical collaboration is to success and productivity, the more people prefer in-person and video-driven meetings over text-based communication. For example, although email usage has increased significantly over the past five years and is regarded as the most important tool for business success, it's not preferred at all for mission critical decisions and only 3 percent of respondents prefer it for complex or technical discussions. 

"How We Work shows that, given the demands of work today, professionals are essentially creating communication tool belts that allow them to pick the right tool at the right time," said Clay Hausmann, vice president of Corporate Marketing at Plantronics. "Video, voice and text-based communications all have a role, as does social media, and one isn't growing at the expense of another. The pace of innovation around new communication technologies is astounding, and yet it is the end user who ultimately decides which technology will play a key role in their business communication and for what purpose." 

The Impact of Globally Distributed Teams
The How We Work study reinforces the changing dynamics of today's workforce, where 24x7 communications reign and distributed teams, flexible working and telecommuting are on the rise. According to the study, 90 percent of enterprise employees spend some time working off-site and, consequently, 62 percent frequently attend remote meetings. The goal: collaboration and collective knowledge sharing. Enterprise goals have evolved from automation to innovation, where team-driven ideas, insights and empathy are the underpinnings for future growth. In fact, 91 percent of today's professionals are heavily involved in brainstorming and ideation meetings at work. 

How Do You Work?
Plantronics wants to know how you work. Please visit our Facebook page and take the How You Work poll, or visit the Plantronics Unified Communications Blog and join the conversation. 

How We Work Methodology
Plantronics surveyed 1,800 enterprise employees in the US, UK, Germany, China, India and Australia. All work in medium or large size companies (100+ employees) and identified themselves as knowledge workers (people whose work centers on developing/working primarily with ideas and information) who use a variety of communications technologies to stay in touch with colleagues, partners and clients. The research was conducted in May and June of 2010.

The presentation, graphs, info art, and audio clips from enterprise professionals discussing their communication preferences and usage can be accessed at www.plantronics.com/howwework.

About Plantronics
Plantronics is a world leader in personal audio communications for professionals and consumers. From unified communication solutions to Bluetooth® headsets, Plantronics delivers unparalleled audio experiences and quality that reflect our nearly 50 years of innovation and customer commitment. Plantronics is used by every company in the Fortune 100 and is the headset of choice for air traffic control, 911 dispatch and the New York Stock Exchange. For more information, please visit www.plantronics.com or call (800) 544-4660.

Contact Information