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Old fashioned communication not lost in office

Old fashioned communication not lost on Kiwi office workers

Auckland, 30 October 2008 - A survey of over 1,600 New Zealanders by 3M New Zealand has revealed interesting insights in to the way Kiwi office workers behave, including that the majority of office workers still prefer traditional methods of communication.

Reassuringly, office workers across New Zealand have not lost the ability to communicate in person despite all the advances in technology. A merry 74 per cent of respondents reveal they spin on their swivelly chairs to talk directly to the person sitting next them. However, there is still a significant 11 per cent who prefer to send an email rather than turn their head and have a conversation.

Terry Roper, 3M New Zealand, Corporate Marketing Manager says: “Considering the size of some email inboxes, it is pleasantly surprising that people still prefer to speak directly to one another in the office; that having a good old fashioned ‘chin wag’ is still the most direct way to communicate.”

However it seems direct is best with the survey revealing just over a quarter of mischievous respondents (26 per cent) confessing to ‘accidentally on purpose’ losing a Post-it Note left by a manager or spouse, to avoid doing a task. (Of these respondents, 80 per cent were female).

The informal, the formal and the regrettable
The survey shows that it pays to be careful in the office even with the most informal types of communication. In the opinion of 35 per cent of those surveyed, communication on a Post-it Note was considered to be legally binding.

Mr Roper says: “While it is encouraging for us to know that people place such trust in their Post-it Notes, we would definitely recommend seeking the counsel of a lawyer for legal documentation as opposed drafting your pre-nuptial agreement or mortgage on a Post-it Note!”

However not everyone has a legal mindset with 17 per cent of respondents claiming they sign documents without reading them first, they simply sign where the Post-it Flag is.

In other key findings, a reckless 43 per cent of those surveyed have communicated something to a colleague they later regretted, with 49 per cent of these issuing their regrettable communiqué via email; 31 per cent on a piece of paper and seven per cent foolishly leaving a message on their colleague’s phone.

A surprising seven people (0.04 per cent) claimed they had been fired with a Post-it Note.

Anonymous and amorous office communication
Over half the respondents (55 per cent) have admitted to communicating anonymously with co-workers, with 41 per cent claiming they have praised a colleague with a secret message.

A small number of those surveyed have braved difficult topics by leaving anonymous communications such as informing colleagues they have body odour (seven per cent) or bad breath (three per cent). A furtive four per cent anonymously told a colleague they loved them.

“It seems that while we are a very confident nation on the whole, when it comes to talking to colleagues face to face but we are rather hesitant about the more delicate conversations,” says Mr Roper.

When is comes to endearments 28 per cent of those surveyed disclosed they had written love notes on Post-it Notes for their beloved to find in their briefcase or on the fridge, for example. Of these 84 per cent were female, and a small but loving 16 per cent were male.


About the survey
This online survey was conducted by 3M New Zealand in October and was responded to by 1,683 New Zealanders.

About 3M New Zealand - A Global, Diversified Technology Company
3M is the manufacturer and supplier of Post-it Notes and Flags.
Every day, 3M people find new ways to make amazing things happen. Wherever they are, whatever they do, the company’s customers know they can rely on 3M to help make their lives better. 3M’s brands include icons such as Scotch Tapes and Adhesives, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate, Scotch-Brite, Filtrete, Command and Nexcare. Serving customers in more than 200 countries around the world, the company’s 70,000 employees use their expertise, technologies and global strength to lead in major markets including consumer and office; display and graphics; electronics and telecommunications; safety, security and protection services; health care; industrial and transportation.
Speedglas, Scotch Tapes and Adhesives, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate, Scotch-Brite, Filtrete, Command and Nexcare are trademarks of 3M.

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