The Gatehouse Blog

There’s a digital revolution in the workplace, but face-to-face communication remains king

More people are using social networks to communicate at work – but speaking to each other is more effective, according to our latest State of the Sector report.

Our latest study found an increase in the use of social platforms inside businesses. However, despite a rapidly changing technological landscape, old fashioned talking remains the most effective way to communicate at work.

The research found:

  • More than half of employers (56%) have now introduced a so-called ‘enterprise social network’ – the workplace equivalent of Facebook
  • Tools like Yammer, Jive and Workplace by Facebook are growing rapidly in popularity – with 77% predicting their use will increase even further in the next 12 months.
  • However, and when asked whether they consider those networks a resounding success in their organisation, a hefty 70% disagreed.
  • Microsoft’s Office 365 tools – which include Yammer and Sharepoint – are becoming increasingly dominant inside organiations (used by 57% and 54% respectively)


State of the Sector shows that in 2017 face-to-face communication still reigns supreme in the workplace – with conferences, team meetings, road shows and town hall meetings all rated effective by more than 75% of those surveyed.

Team meetings remain the most widely used face-to-face channel internally, used by nine out of ten respondents – with a surprising 80% rating them as effective.

Our obsession with everything digital is certainly having a big impact in the workplace and this year we have seen real evidence that the communication landscape is changing and at a relatively fast pace. But, helpful as they can be, digital tools are no replacement for face-to-face communication and these old school channels are arguably becoming even more important when it comes to informing, engaging and inspiring employees.

The full report can be downloaded for free from