Communication in the Workplace Statistics 2024

Workplace communication statistics show that 86% of employees and executives cite the lack of effective collaboration and communication as the main causes of workplace failures.

On the other hand, teams who communicate effectively may increase their productivity by as much as 25%.

But, that only applies to those who have established effective channels of communication. Unfortunately, a third of communicators claim to be dissatisfied with the channels they use in the workplace in 2024.

So, what’s the solution to this communication conundrum? Surely, the answer lies in the newest workplace communication statistics we’re about to present.

Workplace communication statistics - cover
  • 70% of people believe that wasted time is one of the worst consequences of poor communication.
  • 84% of employees rely on their manager for communication, to some degree.
  • 75% of employers use engagement surveys to gather employee feedback.
  • Acting on employee feedback increases trust in the workplace by 75%
  • 70% of global employers indicate that communication is the most desirable skill for potential recruits to have.
  • 81% of global recruiters believe that cross-cultural competence is the most important communication skill job candidates should have, followed by multilingualism (77%), and active listening (75%).
  • 74% of recruiters also indicated that knowing how to use digital communication tools and video conferencing is also a crucial skill for job candidates to possess.
  • 92% of organizations use email as their primary broadcast channel.
  • 81% of employers use manager team meetings as the primary collaboration channels, followed by enterprise chat tools, which were used 79% of the time.
  • 68% of people believe that AI will have a high impact on the communication sector in the next 5 years

Table of Contents

Statistics on why effective communication is important in the workplace

Proper communication can benefit businesses in many ways.

Namely, effective team communication positively affects employees in terms of: 

  • Productivity,
  • Engagement, 
  • Retention, and 
  • Trust.

So, what are the statistics on the importance of communication in the workplace? Let’s find out!

Benefit #1: Effective communication increases productivity 

Arguably, one of the most important benefits of effective communication in the workplace is that it positively affects employee productivity.

In addition to feeling more connected to their colleagues, employees who regularly communicate with one another are more productive.

That much was evident in an older McKinsey report, which showed that well-connected teams see a productivity increase of 20–25%.

A newer study from the McKinsey Institute about the future of remote work suggests something similar. Namely, employees who feel included in more detailed workplace communication are almost 5 times more likely to report increased productivity.

The most recent information we have on this subject comes from a report The State of Business Communication in 2023 conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Grammarly. That study shows that 72% of business leaders believe that effective communication has increased their team’s productivity, and 52% of knowledge workers agree.

Additionally, 60% of the 251 business leaders surveyed agreed that effective communication increased employee confidence. Meanwhile, 56% of the 1,001 surveyed knowledge workers claimed that it increased work satisfaction as well.

However, we must acknowledge that unnecessary communication can also impair productivity, as Gallagher’s State of the Sector 2024 report points out. Specifically, too much communication can be a barrier to success, according to 19% of the participants of Gallagher’s survey. But, more on that later.


Effective communication is arguably the only way to boost productivity in remote work settings. To learn more about what remote workers need to thrive, check out our remote work statistics:

Benefit #2: Effective communication improves engagement

According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report, disengaged employees cost the world an unbelievable $8.8 trillion in lost productivity.

Still, Gallup’s data has shown some improvement, with employee engagement numbers going from 20% in 2020 to 21% in 2021 and 23% in 2022.

Yet, according to the latest news from Gallup, US employee engagement seems to have stagnated in the second quarter of 2023, lingering around:

  •  35% for hybrid workers, 
  • 33% for on-site workers, and 
  • dropping from 31% to 28% for remote-first workers. 

If nothing else, that tells us that leaders and managers haven’t followed through with last year’s recommendations from Gallup, which noted that:

  1. Leadership should clearly communicate the company’s internal values and business strategy with employees,
  2. Companies should pay special attention to younger workers, particularly those who work in remote or hybrid settings, who tend to feel more disengaged than older, more established employees, and
  3. Managers should be more informed about their team members’ ongoing work-life challenges.

Unfortunately, it seems that not enough people in decision-making positions got the memo — even though a recent study from Gallup found that improving worker engagement would also increase productivity by 18% and profitability by 23%.

Then again, according to the book Time, Talent, Energy: Overcome Organizational Drag and Unleash Your Team’s Productive Power by Michael C. Mankins and Eric Garton, that number could be a bit low. Through their consulting firm, Bain & Company, Mankins and Garton have found that engaged employees are 44% more productive than those who describe themselves as satisfied.


If you’re interested in learning more facts about employee engagement, read:

Benefit #3: Effective communication increases retention 

The Great Resignation came and went, leaving much of the corporate world scrambling to fill empty cubicles.

Last year, Gallup reported that:

  • 59% of workers were quiet quitting, while
  • 23% of workers believed that they were thriving at work, and
  • 18% of workers were loud quitting, aka directly impeding their company’s goals.

Still, most experts believe that increasing retention is as simple as engaging your workforce. The same Gallup report that mentioned the connection between engagement and productivity also found that having engaged workers reduces turnover by:

  • 43% in low-turnover organizations, and
  • 18% in high-turnover organizations.

Going back to an older report from the early aughts, we can see that one survey of 50,000 employees across 59 global organizations showed that employees who are engaged are 87% less likely to leave their organization.

And, more recent reports seem to back up those claims. The Achievers Workforce Institute’s 2024 Employee Engagement and Retention report shows that, of the surveyed employees, 72% would be more likely to stay at a job where they feel supported, cared for, and valued, than a job where they don’t feel valued but are paid 30% more.

The same report found that 41% of employees said that they’d be looking for a new job in 2024, with another 24% saying they weren’t sure yet. That means that 65% of employees have one foot out the door, which does represent a slight uptick in numbers compared to last year’s report, when a total of 61% of respondents claimed that they might look for a new job.

Benefit #4: Effective communication facilitates trust

According to a report on trust in the workplace issued by the Workforce Institute at UKG, 74% of employees would prefer to work for a trustworthy employer.

Yet, according to the authors of The Four Factors of Trust, a quarter of professionals don’t trust their employer, which can negatively affect employee morale, according to one Accountemps survey.

In fact, the Workforce Institute at UKG report also noted that:

  • 68% felt that low trust was detrimental to their daily effort and productivity,
  • 24% left a company because they didn’t feel trusted by their employer, and
  • 22% of their survey participants reported not making referrals due to a lack of trust in their company.

Conversely, according to The Four Factors of Trust, trusting employees are:

  • 260% more motivated at work,
  • 50% less likely to look for other employment, and
  • 41% less likely to engage in absenteeism.

So, how could an organization build trust between employees and employers?

In addition to being a good (54%) and dependable (48%) worker overall, an employee would also need to be honest (36%) and practice active listening (28%) to be seen as trustworthy by their manager.

Conversely, employees value managers who are dependable (52%) and honest (34%) the most, as well as capable of delivering helpful feedback (25%).

And, though trust in leadership is still fairly low, with 23% of employees claiming to trust leadership in August of 2023, it seems to be on the rise, according to the latest reports from Gallup.

Statistics on the cost of poor communication at the workplace

We all know that miscommunication in the workplace can have serious repercussions for a business. But are there any communication statistics that corroborate those claims? What are the statistics of communication issues in the workplace?

Well, according to The State of Business Communication report, business leaders have noted 3 consequences of poor communication at work:

  • 43% of them claim that poor communication decreases productivity,
  • 42% of the surveyed leaders claimed that missed deadlines and extended timelines are the worst consequences of miscommunication, and
  • 38% of business leaders have noticed the financial impact of poor communication.

On top of that,’s Communication Statistics 2024 report highlighted that the costs of poor business communication include:

  • Wasted time (according to 70% of survey respondents),
  • Missed messages (55%),
  • Burnout, stress, and fatigue (53%),
  • Lost files (36%),
  • Bad customer experience (28%),
  • Lost customers to competitors (12%), and
  • Lost employees (12%).

Going forward, we’re going to look at workplace communication statistics that showcase the consequences of poor communication strategies in 3 major areas:

  1. Burnout and (subsequent) decreased productivity,
  2. Professional failures, and
  3. Financial consequences for corporations.

Let’s jump in!

Consequence #1: Poor communication leads to employee burnout and decreased productivity

According to the Grammarly-sponsored report The State of Business Communication, poor communication can increase stress and employee attrition — aka burnout.

This survey of knowledge workers showed that:

  • 50% have admitted that poor communication has increased their overall stress levels,
  • 34% have claimed that it has decreased their job satisfaction,
  • 30% have said that miscommunication has lowered their professional confidence, and
  • 22% of them have considered looking for a new job due to poor communication.

A 2019 report from the Workforce Institute at UKG on Gen Z employee experience found that 43% of Gen Z survey respondents said that seeing visibly unhappy employees would make them lose interest in joining a company.

But, losing potential employees isn’t the only downside of having employees who are unhappy with their jobs. From an employer standpoint, it’s important to acknowledge that stressed-out employees are also less productive.

According to Microsoft’s 2023 Work Trend Index, 64% of employees say that they struggle with having the time and energy to do their jobs. Moreover, this group of employees is also 3.5 times more likely to struggle with innovation and strategic thinking.

These results align with those we saw in ComPsych’s StressPulse survey from 2019, which showed that 61% of employees across the US are dealing with high levels of stress due to their overwhelming workload (39%) and people issues (36%).

This tells us that communication is a significant factor when it comes to stress management in the workplace.


If you’re struggling with burnout, you might want to take some time off work. Here’s how you can tell your manager that you’re not feeling well:

Consequence #2: Poor communication leads to professional failures

Of course, the most obvious problems caused by poor communication have to do with professional failures. Namely, ineffective communication can lead people to misunderstand the scope of their professional responsibilities, which can, in turn, lead to failed projects and missed deadlines.

Most of the surveyed participants of the Grammarly-sponsored report on the state of business communication agreed that their ability to work was strongly contingent on how well their collaborators could express their needs, with:

  • 93% of business leaders, and
  • 80% of knowledge workers agreeing with that statement.

Another poll conducted by leadership development and training company Fierce, Inc., which surveyed over 1,400 employees, corporate executives, and educators, showed that 86% of them believe ineffective communication is the underlying reason for workplace failures.

Meanwhile, a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit further illustrates how poor workplace communication can hurt the success of a workplace

Namely, ineffective communication can lead to:

  • Failure to complete projects — according to 44% of the survey participants,
  • Low employee morale — in 31% of the cases,
  • Missed performance goals — in 25% of the cases, and
  • Lost sales — in 18% of the cases.

Arguably, the most significant consequence of poor workplace communication that was highlighted in the Economist’s report was the fact that 52% of survey respondents associated it with added stress

But, since we’ve already discussed that point, we’ll proceed to our final point — the financial toll of miscommunication.

Consequence #3: Poor communication takes a financial toll on businesses

According to a recent report from Axios HQ, which surveyed 540 business leaders and over a thousand employees, the cost of ineffective communication in the workplace amounts to $2 trillion annually in the US alone.

On an individual level, the report shows that poor communication is costing companies over $15,000 per employee.

Meanwhile, the Grammarly-sponsored The State of Business Communication report shows that 1 in 5 business leaders claim to have experienced a loss of credibility due to poor communication. 


  • 68% of business leaders who lost deals due to miscommunication claim that it has cost them $10k or more, and
  • 13% of them estimate that lost deals have cost them $50k or more.

For what it’s worth,’s report confirmed that among customers who moved to a competitor in 2024, 66% report having done so due to the poor business communication skills of company representatives.

Going back to the report from Axios HQ, we should note that perceptions on the clarity and relevance of essential communications varied between leadership and employees, with:

  • 78% of leaders claiming that essential communications at their organization are clear and engaging, and
  • 77% of leaders stating that this communication is also helpful and relevant, whereas only
  • 51% of employees agreed that essential communications in their organization were clear and engaging, and only
  • 46% of employees agreed that this communication was helpful and relevant.

In other words, until leadership and employees get on the same page as to what constitutes effective communication, companies will keep losing money due to poor communication strategies.

2024 business communication statistic roundup

Statistics on the most used languages in business communication

Verbal and written communication are arguably the most important types of communication in the workplace — and beyond.

However, even these straightforward types of communication can be unsuccessful if the employees of a company don’t speak the same language.

So, how can businesses tackle the challenges of choosing a common language for a multicultural team?

Business languages for international teams

According to one survey published by Harvard Business School, 89% of employees serve on at least one global team. Moreover, 62% of corporate employees have colleagues from 3 or more cultures.

Therefore, knowing at least 1 international business language is becoming a necessity. But, which one should you speak if you want to set yourself up for success in 2024?

The table below shows the 10 most valuable business languages to know, based on the language’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in $US trillions and its share of the global GDP, based on the UN’s analysis of the GDP of various languages between the years of 2019 and 2021. We’ve also included the number of people who speak these languages worldwide, as reported by Ethnologue.

LanguageGDP in $US trillion% of world GDPNumber of worldwide speakers
English23.94271.5+ billion
Chinese16.54181.1+ billion
Spanish6.998559.1+ million
Japanese5.016123.4+ million
German4.915133.2+ million
French3.444309.8+ million
Arabic2.433274+ million
Italian2.18267.9+ million
Portuguese1.952263.6+ million
Korean1.86281.7+ million

Even though Russian and Hindi have dropped below the top 10, they remain crucial languages in the professional world, along with Dutch, Turkish, and Malay-Indonesian languages, which make up the top 15 business languages.

Then again, different countries have other business languages they currently focus on, or plan to focus on in the future. As an example, let’s look at the US and the UK.


If you need more information on cross-cultural communication, check out this article:

Business languages in the US

Official statistics show that 78% of the US population only speak English. Even so, some might be surprised to learn that the United States doesn’t actually have an official language.

According to the most recent census data, many Americans also speak:

  1. Spanish,
  2. Chinese,
  3. Tagalog,
  4. Vietnamese, and
  5. Arabic — among other languages.

Furthermore, American students — the future of the US workforce — tend to favor Spanish when selecting a foreign language to learn.

A recent report issued by the Modern Language Association of America compared foreign language enrollments at institutions of higher education in the fall of 2021 to the results of their previous report, which reflected on the language enrollments during the summer and fall of 2016.

Ultimately, the new report found that language enrollment had dropped by 16.6%. Even so, the top 5 foreign languages for college and university students were similar to those highlighted in the previous report:

  1. Spanish — with a share of 49.42%,
  2. French — with a share of 11.42%,
  3. American Sign Language — with a share of 9.12%,
  4. Japanese — with a share of 5.55%, and
  5. German — with a share of 4.52%.

Business languages in the UK

According to the data from the 2021 census, 91.1% of the UK population speak English as their mother tongue. Unsurprisingly, the country’s official language is also English.

Still, other than English (and Welsh, in Wales) the population survey also showed that people in the UK also speak:

  1. Polish — 1.1% of the population,
  2. Romanian — 0.8% of the population,
  3. Punjabi — 0.5% of the population, and
  4. Urdu — 0.5% of the population.

As for foreign language studies, a 2024 brief noted that most schools offer French, German, and Spanish classes — though the government doesn’t promote the teaching of languages in any particular way. As a result, only 32% of 15–30-year-olds in the UK report knowing 2 or more languages, compared to 80% of the population in EU member states.

Notably, this brief also mentioned the British Council’s report on the Languages for the Future, which showed that 18–30-year-olds in the UK did have some knowledge of other languages, namely:

  1. French,
  2. German,
  3. Spanish,
  4. Italian, and
  5. Hindi.

However, its main focus was on the languages the UK, as a primarily English-speaking country, should adopt due to a variety of reasons, including:

  • Economic factors — such as current UK exports and future trade priorities,
  • Non-market factors — like tourism and diplomatic and security priorities, and
  • Balancing factors — namely, other countries’ levels of English proficiency and the prevalence of different languages online.

Essentially, the document listed 10 of the most important international business languages that are not English:

  1. Spanish,
  2. Mandarin,
  3. French,
  4. Arabic,
  5. German,
  6. Italian,
  7. Dutch,
  8. Portuguese,
  9. Japanese, and
  10. Russian.

In other words, these are the languages the UK population will need to learn to excel in increasingly multicultural and multilingual workplaces.

Top 10 global business languages in 2024

Statistics on nonverbal communication in the workplace

Now, written and verbal communication are only two pieces of the larger puzzle that constitutes human communication.

With that in mind, we wanted to turn our attention to another piece that’s just as significant — nonverbal communication.

As the name suggests, this form of communication is about all the messages we send without using actual words.

One paper on nonverbal communication in the workplace noted how different components of nonverbal communication might manifest in the world of business, including:

  • Appearance — in our choice of business attire,
  • Movement — in the gestures a keynote speaker might use to project confidence,
  • Facial expressions — the furrowing of a manager’s brow when showing disapproval,
  • Vocal qualities — the pitch, volume, and inflection of someone delivering a presentation,
  • Spatial positioning — the physical distance hinting at people’s attitudes toward one another,
  • Physical touch — such as the firmness of someone’s handshake, and
  • Time — namely, the speed with which someone responds to a message, as an example.

Going forward, we’re going to talk about the significance of this form of communication as it relates to the modern workplace through nonverbal communication statistics.

93% of communication is nonverbal?! The Mehrabian Myth

When the subject of nonverbal communication comes up, people often claim that 93% of all communication is nonverbal.

As an example, we can point to one author who stated that “nonverbal communication accounts for 93% of the impact of any given message.”

More often than not, though, this statistic is used to highlight the importance of projecting confidence during business presentations.

However, the research it stemmed from was never meant to be applied to that context.

As impressive as this would-be factoid sounds, it is a misconception that has been debunked so many times, it even has a name — the Mehrabian Myth.

By all accounts, this misconception stems from a misinterpretation of Albert Mehrabian’s 1967 research paper concerning the decoding of inconsistent messages.

In the study, Mehrabian and his coauthor, Morton Wiener, posited that, when faced with inconsistent messaging (for example, when someone says something that may not be entirely truthful), people usually look for the speaker’s:

  • Body language (and facial expression) — at a rate of 55%, and
  • Tone of voice — at an instance of 38%.

In other words, only 7% of the meaning the audience absorbs in instances of inconsistent messaging comes from the actual words the speaker used to convey their message.

So, that’s where the infamous 93% statistic comes from. Ultimately, it shouldn’t be used outside of the context it originated from.

Instead, we should look for studies that specifically deal with nonverbal communication in the workplace. But, do we have enough of those to reach a consensus?

Statistics on nonverbal communication in the workplace

Unfortunately, there’s not much up-to-date research on the subject of nonverbal communication in the workplace. That omission was even mentioned in the Journal of Management in 2016, in a paper that suggested an agenda for further research in the field.

Sadly, the more recent studies on the subject are still somewhat lacking.

Take, for example, a 2020 study on the impact of nonverbal signals in business communication.

Researchers surveyed 150 people (an admittedly small sample size) and found that:

  • 85% of them believed eye contact plays a vital role in business communication,
  • 70% said that facial expressions (like smiling) impact business communication, though only
  • 55% claimed to be able to accurately guess the emotions behind certain facial expressions.

Interestingly, only 25% of the respondents agreed with the prompt that physical appearance influences business communication.

However, the main takeaways of the study was that our professional exchanges are affected by factors pertaining to nonverbal communication, such as:

  • A lack of knowledge of adaptive facial signals (according to 75% of respondents),
  • Employers not understanding the potential of nonverbal signals (70%)
  • A lack of soft skills training (65%),
  • Cultural differences (55%), and
  • A lack of interpersonal communication (40%).

As we can see, most of the survey participants found a lack of interpersonal communication to have the least impact on nonverbal communication in the workplace. However, we should remember the limitations of this study when looking at this data.

Barriers to nonverbal communication in the workplace

Previously, we mentioned a report issued by the Economist, which deals with communication barriers in the modern workplace.

The most frequently cited cause of professional miscommunication, which was corroborated by 42% of respondents, was different communication styles, which can be generational as well as functional differences in communication preferences.

The report also has a section on the impact of remote work and virtual communication on miscommunication in the workplace — even though it was published in 2018, before a certain global event forced a large section of the workforce to go remote.

Since going remote would have presented a barrier in terms of nonverbal communication, we wanted to see what percentage of workers found communication more difficult after the switch.

Though 54% of the survey respondents claimed that remote work had no impact on their business communication, there were also:

  • 21% who claimed that remote work made communication somewhat difficult and 6% who found it very difficult, and 
  • 12% who said that it made communication easier or much easier (7%).

Then again, many of the nonverbal communication statistics we have mentioned come from studies that were conducted before the onset of a global pandemic that has since changed the way we communicate with the people we work with.

So, in the next section, we’re going to take a look at the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the world of business communication.

Statistics on workplace communication after COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on the global workplace.

According to Buffer’s State of Remote Work 2023 report, 98% of people who went remote during the pandemic would prefer to continue working from home for the rest of their careers.

But, does that mean that we’ve overcome most of the challenges of remote work that were identified during the pandemic? Let’s find out.

Employees learned to enjoy remote work despite its drawbacks

According to Buffer’s report, employees still feel the drawbacks of remote work, including:

  1. Not having a reason to leave their home (according to 21% of respondents),
  2. Feelings of loneliness (prioritized by 15% of respondents), and
  3. Working across time zones (highlighted by 14% of surveyed workers).

On top of that, one lasting consequence of the pandemic is the fact that most people haven’t learned how to set proper work-life boundaries, according to 71% of Buffer survey respondents.

As a result, as many as 81% of remote workers claim to check work emails outside of work hours — with 63% doing it on the weekends and 34% while on vacation, too.

This work-life imbalance may have something to do with employees not feeling like their employer has their best interests in mind.

Though the pandemic had a temporary positive effect on employee perceptions of their organizations, employee sentiments have been on the decline.

According to Gallup, a whopping 49% of employees believed that their company cared about their well-being in May 2020, a number that has fallen to only 24% by November 2023.

Even so, 91% of Buffer survey respondents continue to describe their experience with remote work as very positive even after the pandemic.

It all comes down to asynchronous communication

The biggest concern most business leaders had as their organizations were transitioning to remote work models was how distance might affect employee productivity.

Yet, even though 85% of leaders have wondered whether their employees could be productive when working from home, the numbers show that:

  • Office-based workers only work between 36–39% of their work days, and
  • Workers with flexible schedules report being 29% more productive.

Ultimately, people managed to maintain their pre-COVID productivity and even, in some cases, surpass it, due to asynchronous communication tools.

Simply put, asynchronous work solutions are designed to allow people to work independently from their collaborators, even if they’re in different time zones.

The use of remote work tools and business communication platforms like Pumble have enabled people to share information effectively without having to share the same physical workspace.

A whopping 78% of the knowledge workers surveyed for Grammarly’s report on the state of business communication said that asynchronous communication is beneficial because it increases productivity (42%) and fosters a sense of inclusion (34%).

Moreover, 52% of the knowledge workers (57%, if we only looked at Millennial and Gen Z respondents) reported that asynchronous communication makes their job more flexible.

So, even though working from home came with some communication concerns — such as the threat of communication siloing, which was identified in a global study of 360 billion emails — it has also forced people to become more effective communicators, as:

  • 90% of the business leaders Grammarly surveyed agreed that remote work increases their need to be a better communicator, and
  • 82% of the surveyed knowledge workers claimed the same. 


To learn how best to communicate with teammates while working remotely, check out our detailed guide (+ infographic) about the subject:

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected workplace communication

Statistics on how people prefer to communicate at the workplace

Workplace communication preferences depend on whether you are a manager or a regular employee.

Having said that, let’s see if the expectations of managers and employees align when it comes to what they want to gain from communication in the workplace.

The purpose of internal communication

According to Gallagher’s State of the Sector 2024 report, 84% of employees rely on managers for communication to some degree

As such, managers, or “communicators,” as this report deems them, are responsible for:

  • Employee engagement — according to 74% of survey respondents,
  • Strategy awareness — according to 70% of respondents,
  • Behavior change — according to 49% of people,
  • Digital reach — according to 46% of respondents, and
  • Policy compliance — according to 34% of people.

But, what do managers see as the purpose of internal communication?

Well, 78% of them would agree that culture and belonging are their priority, while 76% said that the purpose of internal communication is strategic alignment.

These numbers track with ones we’ve seen in Axios HQ’s 2023 report, which showed that most leaders believed the most pressing updates employees would need are on:

  1. Culture and values,
  2. Personnel updates such as new hires or departures,
  3. People operations such as benefits or DEI initiatives,
  4. Business updates on projects, products, and clients,
  5. Organizational goals such as new initiatives and plans, and
  6. Operational changes regarding process and policy updates. 

However, the same report noted that employees prioritized updates on operational changes, followed by organizational goals, and people operations — with news on the company’s culture and values as well as general business updates being low on the list of priorities.

Even though 66% of leaders believe that their priorities are aligned with those of the employees — only 44% of employees share that conviction. Luckily, these misunderstandings can be resolved through meticulous internal communication planning.


If you find drafting messages for internal communication difficult, this guide is for you:

Barriers to communication in the workplace

According to the newest State of the Sector report, communicators must overcome numerous hurdles to lead their organization to success.

The following list includes the top 10 barriers to success, as identified by Gallagher’s survey respondents:

  • 35% noted the lack of time/capacity on their teams,
  • 32% said that disengaged employees were a major barrier,
  • 25% prioritized the lack of budget/financial resources,
  • 24% said that the company’s internal technology/channels were unfit,
  • 19% blamed a lack of analytics/measurement,
  • 19% said that the volume of communication is too high,
  • 18% highlighted poor people manager communication skills,
  • 17% said that they lacked clear direction from the top,
  • 14% said that non-wired/deskless employees were the main issue, and
  • 13% pointed to a lack of advance notice given for organizational announcements.

Though the top 5 of these barriers have remained a constant concern between the last 2 State of the Sector reports, some have gained priority.

Namely, the volume of workplace communication jumped 2 spots between the previous report and this one. That concern was reflected in Grammarly’s report, which stated that communication with coworkers takes up 72% of the work week.

On top of that, communication with non-wired and deskless employees jumped 3 spots between the previous report and this year’s State of the Sector.

Still, even with these barriers, there are ways to improve communication in the workplace — starting with prioritizing job candidates who already have strong communication skills.

The importance of having great communication skills

According to the latest GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey, 70% of global employers indicated that communication is the most desirable skill in potential recruits.

The same survey respondents were then asked to rank different communication skills they believe will be important in the next 5 years, resulting in the following list:

  • 81% of employers prioritized cross-cultural competence or cultural intelligence,
  • 77% of the respondents highlighted multilingualism,
  • 75% said that active listening was a crucial skill in the modern workplace,
  • 74% prioritized digital communications, video conferencing, conflict resolution, and verbal communication,
  • 73% valued candidates who could negotiate,
  • 69% said that the skill of presentation was key,
  • 66% highlighted the skill of nonverbal communication, and
  • 62% valued candidates with great writing skills.

Therefore, candidates who want to distinguish themselves from the competition should start developing these skills.

As for employers, the best thing you can do is encourage these skills in your employees — which starts with giving constructive feedback.

Providing, collecting, and acting on feedback as an employer

One of the ways in which businesses can promote two-way communication with their employees is through regular feedback. Unfortunately, providing feedback and considering the feedforward aspect of the exchange may be more difficult than we realize.

After all, one Interact survey that involved 2,058 US adults found that 69% of managers feel uncomfortable when communicating with employees face-to-face, and 37% of those managers feel uncomfortable giving direct feedback in business communication situations.

Conversely, 72% of employees feel their performance would improve if their managers were to provide corrective feedback. So, until managers learn to feel more comfortable with conducting performance reviews, employees will have to get used to asking for feedback.

Employees seem happy to take on feedback of any kind — and they’re just as happy to share their own with the company in an act of upward communication.

Luckily, many businesses seem to be taking an active role in gathering employee feedback.

According to the State of the Sector 2024 report:

  • 75% of employers use engagement surveys,
  • 54% of employers gather post-event feedback,
  • 52% of employers have live Q&A sessions,
  • 48% of employers are willing to hear employees out through email, and
  • 47% of employers conduct pulse surveys — in addition to having other employee listening channels.

But, it’s not just about asking for feedback. Rather, businesses have to act on it.

According to the Achievers Workforce Institute’s newest report on employee engagement and retention, people who say their employer takes meaningful action based on their feedback are 75% more likely to trust their company leadership than those who see their leadership gathering feedback but not acting on it.

The effect of employee recognition on engagement, productivity, and retention

On the other side of the feedback coin, it should come as no surprise to learn that employees also like to be recognized for their contributions to the company.

In fact, people who are never recognized are 27% more likely than average to look for other jobs in 2024, according to the Achievers’ 2024 Engagement and Retention Report.

The same report also found that the frequency of recognition employees receive makes them more engaged and productive, as well as more likely to say that they rarely think about looking for other job opportunities, as shown in the table below.

Frequency of recognitionAnnual (or less frequent) recognitionQuarterly recognitionMonthly (or more frequent) recognition

Even though previous reports stated that 90% of employees say recognition motivates them to work harder, that’s not the only thing that keeps employees from quitting.

The Achievers report noted that only 6% of employees listed recognition — or the lack thereof — as a reason they might leave their company in 2024. On top of that, only 9% of people cited recognition as their reason to stay.

This year, compensation seems to be the biggest issue for employee retention, with 28% of employees stating that compensation was their reason for leaving a job, followed by a lack of career progression opportunities at 24% (which is, arguably, linked to recognition), and work flexibility, at 23%.

The role of technology in workplace communication

As we have established, the transition to hybrid and remote work models has led many businesses to incorporate various digital solutions into their communication strategy.

Even though email is reportedly still the most prevalent tool used to communicate with clients (at a rate of 55%, according to’s latest communication statistics) and coworkers (31%) alike, online team collaboration tools like Pumble are right behind, with:

  • 11% of people using them in external communication with clients (though 19% of people actually used project management tools for communicating with clients), and
  • 26% of people using them in internal communication (with project management tools following behind at a rate of 24%).

But, at this point, these kinds of digital solutions aren’t exactly exciting, are they? With that in mind, let’s look to the future of workplace communication and examine what other technologies we might incorporate into our professional environments.

In 2024, much of the conversation surrounding new technologies has focused on artificial intelligence and how it will change workplace communication by:

  • Making writing easier,
  • Shortening production time,
  • Increasing output, and
  • Lowering training costs.

Ultimately, 68% of professionals believe that AI will have a high impact on the communication sector in the next 5 years, according to the State of the Sector 2024 report. That is leagues above hyper-personalization (at 48%), gamification (22%), immersive technology (16%), and augmented reality (10%), the other technologies whose impact was analyzed by the survey. 

Even recruiters have noted that AI and machine learning skills will be among the most crucial technology skills job candidates could possess, with 74% of them highlighting their value in the GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey.

Communication statistics insights for multigenerational workplaces

Understanding the way different generations communicate may help you create a more unified workforce.

As it stands, younger professionals report higher levels of dissatisfaction with their organizations’ communication practices, according to Grammarly’s report. 

They’re also more likely to experience written miscommunications on a weekly basis, with:

  • 60% of Gen Z and Millennials reporting miscommunications, but only
  • 40% of Gen X workers, and
  • 30% of Baby Boomers doing the same.

The effects of poor communication in the workplace are usually more evident in younger employees, who report having felt anxious and stressed due to unclear communication at a rate of:

  • 75%, for Millennials,
  • 72%, for Gen Z,
  • 67%, for Gen X, and
  • 56%, for Baby Boomers.

Notably, Grammarly’s report did find some areas where the generational sentiments overlap.

When asked if they were satisfied with the level of empathy in communication at their organization:

  • 86% of Baby Boomers answered positively, as did
  • 85% of Millennials,
  • 81% of Gen X workers, and
  • 79% of Gen Z employees.

Lastly, we should note that some generational statistics may be more surprising than others. For example, one study has found that 1 in 4 Gen Z workers prefer in-person communication while at work.

That is especially interesting considering that Gen Z’s predecessors, Millennials, tend to avoid face-to-face communication

Instead, they choose:

Now, since we’ve already broached the subject of communication methods, let’s talk about the devices people tend to use to communicate at work.

What do people want from workplace communication in 2024

Statistics on the communication devices and platforms people use in the workplace

CMSWire reports that 85% of employees use more than one communication device to communicate at work — as many as 32% use 3 or more devices because they value flexibility.

When it comes to the actual device use, people tend to communicate via:

  • Computers — in 44% of cases,
  • Smartphones — 36%,
  • Tablets — 16%, and
  • Desktop phones — 5%.

When asked about voicemails, 82% of people said that they would prefer text messages — which are easier to scan for the right information.

More recently, the Communication Statistics 2024 report revealed the rate at which work-related communications are usually exchanged with coworkers and clients using different communication platforms.

Internal communicationExternal communication
Online chat tools26%11%
Project management tools24%19%
Phone calls7%5%
Face-to-face interactions3%5%

The fact that meetings were in last place on this list makes sense, since, according to, 65% of people feel that they are a waste of time.

Additionally, the prevalence of emails in external communication makes sense when we consider that online messaging tools are usually used for internal communication only. However, some of those tools now feature guest account options, which may increase their usage in communication with clients as well as external collaborators.


Even though emails account for the lion’s share of all business communication, they’re not the ideal platform for those exchanges. Find out why here:

Statistics on workplace communication channels usage and effectiveness

The most recent State of the Sector report analyzed the various communication channels we may use in the workplace — as well as their effectiveness.

The following were 5 of the most used broadcast channels, applied when the employer wanted to share information with the organization at large:

  • Emails were used at a rate of 92% and they were considered to be 89% effective,
  • All-employee live events were used 78% of the time with an effectiveness of 97%,
  • E-newsletters were used 71% of the time with an effectiveness of 87%,
  • Leader live events were used 63% of the time with an effectiveness of 98%, and
  • Videos were used 59% of the time with an effectiveness of 85%.

As for the other broadcast channels listed in the report, leader and all-employee conference calls were also shown to have an effectiveness of over 96%.

When it comes to the most commonly used collaboration channels, the report listed the following:

  • Manager team meetings were used 81% of the time with an effectiveness of 97%,
  • Enterprise chat tools were used 70% of the time with an effectiveness of 95%,
  • Manager one-on-one meetings were used 65% of the time with an effectiveness of 97%,
  • Lunch and learns were used 52% of the time with an effectiveness of 71%, and
  • Employee resource groups were used 51% of the time with an effectiveness of 88%.

Lastly, the report also listed the most effective self-service channels employees could use to access company information, with the top 3 being:

  • Intranet, which was used 84% of the time and had an effectiveness of 69%,
  • App, which was used 73% of the time and had an effectiveness of 86%, and
  • Portal, which was used 24% of the time and had an effectiveness of 83%.

Improve your workplace communication outcomes with Pumble

As workplaces shift from offices to online environments, effective communication is becoming more important than ever — increasing the need for effective digital tools and proper training. 

Yet, as we have learned from the State of the Sector 2024 report, a third of the survey respondents are dissatisfied with the communication channels they’re using to conduct workplace communication.

In fact, another third of the respondents reported having added a channel of communication within the past year to better meet their business needs — and a quarter did so because of employee feedback, specifically.

And that’s the key, right there. According to the report, the primary driver of channel satisfaction was its ability to meet employee needs.

So, if you see that your employees are struggling to maintain effective internal or even external communication — try the employee communication app, Pumble!

  1. Organize your conversations with direct messages, threads, and channels.
  2. Use roles and permissions to limit access to confidential information.
  3. Send voice and video messages or have video calls with the whole team — and have your clients join in by giving them guest access.

Make the most of your workplace communication. Get started with Pumble.


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