Millennial Communication Preferences in the Workplace
We asked millennials at Arbeit the following question to identify their communication preferences in the workplace:
“How do you prefer to communicate during work hours?”
Let’s dive into the responses!
Instant Messaging for Internal Communication
Overwhelmingly, 87.5% of millennial survey respondents chose instant messaging as their preferred method of communicating during work hours.
With zero responses, texting was the least popular method of communicating during work hours.
Although instant messaging is the preferred method of communicating during work hours, it’s important to note that it is not the preferred method in every workplace situation.
Email for External Communication
While instant messaging is the preferred method of communicating internally amongst millennials at Arbeit, email is ideal for discussing work-related topics with individuals & entities outside of Arbeit.
When asked about which specific situations they preferred email in, the responses were consistent across the board. Email works best when communicating with clients & vendors.
“When dealing with customers, email is convenient,” says Michael Alexander, Associate Product Manager at Arbeit.
Kaitlyn Filippi, Product Manager at Arbeit, adds that she prefers email “when communicating with someone from another company.”
Candace Burroughs, Manager of HR & Admin at Arbeit, is of a similar opinion. “During work hours, it [email] allows me to stay connected with people outside of Arbeit.”
Arbeit’s UI/UX Designer, Brendan DeGal, agrees. He prefers using email to communicate with clients.
Additionally, email is preferred by millennials at Arbeit in the following scenarios:
- While completing tasks that require a high level of focus
- Communicating complex information that may need to be shared or referenced in the future
- Formalizing agreements
Millennial Communication Preferences Outside of the Workplace
We asked millennials at Arbeit the following question to identify their communication preferences outside of the workplace:
“How do you prefer to communicate outside of work hours?”
Let’s dive into the responses!
Strong Preference for Texting
Millennials’ preferences for communicating outside of work are much more varied than their preferences during work hours. The majority (75%) of millennial survey respondents share a strong preference for texting outside of work, but many share face-to-face, instant messaging, and phone calls as secondary preferences.
Millennials at Arbeit are more diverse in how they communicate outside of work hours as opposed to during work hours.
It’s also important to note that while video conferencing is the second most common communication preference for workplace communication, none of the millennial survey respondents consider it a preferred method for communicating outside of the workplace.
Texting is preferred outside of the workplace, but is not preferred for workplace communication.
“I don’t prefer texting during work hours! I only prefer texting when I have extra time to waste,” says Candace Burroughs, Manager of HR & Admin at Arbeit.
Millennials at Arbeit do not use the same methods to communicate inside & outside of the workplace. They reserve video conferencing for communicating at work and texting for communicating outside of work.
When asked about the specific situations outside of work that they preferred texting in, the responses were consistent across the board. Texting works best for informal conversations and receiving quick information.
Payment & Appointment Reminders
Arbeit’s Conversion Optimization Specialist (me!), Project Manager, and Customer Success Manager stated that they prefer receiving reminders for appointments and payments via text.
Kaitlyn Filippi, Arbeit’s Product Manager, and Ashley Campanella, Arbeit’s Customer Success Manager, prefer texting in situations where they need to communicate with friends & family.
“I like texting friends and family better than talking on the phone,” Ashley says. Kaitlyn adds that she reserves texting “mostly just for friends and family.”
Additionally, texting is preferred by millennials at Arbeit in the following situations that involve a quick exchange of information:
- Receiving warnings
- Getting someone’s attention
- Sharing a small amount of information
Millennials Are Still Talking on the Phone, Too
🔺 TRADITIONAL PHONE CALLS AREN’T DEAD YET. 🔻
A commonly held belief about millennials is that they never talk on or pick up their phone to make/take traditional phone calls. This isn’t the case for millennials at Arbeit.
About 37% of millennial survey respondents chose phone calls as their preferred method of communicating outside of work. That’s the same percentage of people that chose face-to-face and instant messaging as their preferred method.
More specifically, millennials at Arbeit have an appreciation for using traditional phone calls to resolve complex conflicts or issues.
UI/UX Designer at Arbeit, Brendan DeGal, states it simply. He prefers phone calls for “dealing with complex issues.”
Some other scenarios where traditional phone calls are preferred include:
- Serious conversations
- Resolving a conflict
- Catching up with people you haven’t seen in a while
- Emergencies & urgent matters
- Getting quick answers
How to Effectively Communicate With Millennials
- Use instant messaging in the workplace
- Stay in touch with your millennial clients/customers via email during work hours
- Send quick updates, payment reminders, and appointment reminders to millennial clients/customers via text
- Utilize a combination of instant messaging, face-to-face communication & phone calls to reach millennial prospects outside of traditional working hours.
- Encourage call-ins to your support or customer service team for troubleshooting.
- When in doubt, ask each individual about their communication preferences!
- Use texting as an alternative to instant messaging (they’re not the same).
- Send complex information via instant message.
- Neglect phone calls.
- Text a millennial prospect during work hours.
- Automatically assume an individual’s communication preferences on the sole basis of their age.