In 2016, I partnered with leading UK change and communications consultant John Smythe to investigate the impact of digital communication on working relationships. Conducted as an intergenerational, international study, we wanted to gain a better understanding of whether online communication at work is making work/life easier for people, or adding more tasks to the working day? Is it a boon or burden?

There was no charge for participating so it represented a zero risk, high value opportunity for organisations to exercise curiosity about the cultural impacts of the digital tools they’ve introduced into their workplaces.

So far, we’ve conducted our detailed quantitative and qualitative research for 30 organisations, in four continents. Participants have benefitted from bespoke, actionable insights as well as contributing to our overall study.

Other beneficiaries of this research are of course my clients, John’s clients (through his consulting business, Engage for Change) and also, Engage for Success, a dynamic, UK government backed voluntary movement promoting employee engagement as a better way to work that benefits individual employees, teams, and whole organisations.

John and I were delighted to present this summary of our research findings at Engage for Success’s 2016 conference themed Engage By Design, held in London in October 2016. We also hosted a ‘deeper dive’ into our research at a business breakfast at London’s iconic Groucho Club in October 2016, and live streamed this to hundreds of people attending via Periscope. This enabled representatives from many leading UK businesses to debate some of the key themes and ultimately, get a better understanding of how our insights can be applied to their organisations.

We’ve gathered and analysed a huge amount of quantitative and qualitative information, so our mini-report is just a snapshot of some key themes that emerged.  It also includes a summary of what our participants want to change about the digital communication and collaboration tools currently in play in their businesses – some food for thought to apply to your own organisations, perhaps..?

Given our findings, we hope leadership teams will more carefully consider the type of workplace culture they wish to foster as a result of investing in communications and collaboration platforms – and, of course, which digital tools (if any) are most able to help them improve their company’s performance and sustainability.

Our investigation has highlighted more areas deserving of some analysis, so John and I are considering a further phase of research. If you and you company would like to take part, please email me on: