Digital versus face-to-face communication

It is important to know which platform is best for what you are trying to communicate.

Both digital and face-to-face communication have advantages and disadvantages. It is important to be familiar with each in order to select the best type of communication for specific situations.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of each type of communication:

woman talking to man

Face-to-face

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Advantages

Relationships

  • Face-to-face communication allows the fostering of stronger relationships with your colleagues.
  • Face-to-face communication encourages people in the workplace to be collegial as they work closely with one another.

Privacy

  • Face-to-face communication is preferable when addressing sensitive issues or information that you wish to keep private.

Clarity

  • Miscommunication or misinterpretation can be immediately addressed in face-to-face communication.

 

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Disadvantages

  • It is difficult to communicate to a large group of people and still receive engagement and interest from everyone.
  • Busy office schedules can make it difficult to organise face-to-face time with other staff/supervisors.

 

digital meeting

Digital

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Advantages

Convenience

  • People can respond to emails and other digital communication at a convenient time.
  • People can expand on communication topics as required. 
  • You can share your message with multiple people at once and include supporting files.

Accessibility

  • Tools such as Zoom and Skype allow for meetings with people in any location.
  • Virtual meetings are quick to organise and allow many people to become part of the conversation.
  • Digital communications can be formal or informal.

 

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Disadvantages

  • Sensitive issues cannot always be discussed effectively in a digital environment the way they can face-to-face.
  • There is potential for miscommunication or misinterpretation of the message in digital communication.

 

Succeeding in your WIL Activity: Communication Skills

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