7 Channels of Communication in the Modern Workplace

some of the channels of communication in modern workplace

Table of contents

Businesses use different communication channels for various purposes, including relationship-building, collaboration, decision-making, feedback, and promoting brand awareness.

Email, text, video, phone, and social media are the main communication channels businesses use daily. However, to access all these channels, companies deal with the hassles of monthly subscriptions on different platforms and waste time toggling between platforms. According to Harvard Business Review, each employee toggles between 22 different channels about 350 times to execute a single task, meaning the toggling between apps costs each employee 9% of their annual time at work.

Businesses can enhance their communication infrastructure by opting for all-in-one communication solutions to save time while switching to different platforms for multiple communication channels.

What are Communication Channels in Business?

Business communication channels are the means through which an organization facilitates the flow of information internally or externally, ensuring that messages and services are delivered promptly. However, it is important to understand that internal and external communication is conveyed using different channels.

  • Internal communication channels manage any communication within an organization, and include instant messaging, face-to-face meetings, and file sharing. These channels are used for internal communication with employees, stakeholders, directors, and owners.
  • External communication channels are used to communicate with people outside the company, such as customers, shareholders, and vendors. It includes live chat and phone calls.

    For effective communication, businesses must understand the different channels and their intent, which is essential for business success. 

    “Effective communication is the lifeblood of any organization, essential for both internal operations and external relations.”
    K.A. Francis 

Key Usage of Different Channels in Business Communication

The State of Business Communication study of Grammarly shows that poor communication has cost US businesses $12,506 per employee or $1.2 trillion annually. This is due to a lack of understanding of the gap between business communication channels and their usage. Each communication channels serve different purposes. For instance, you can collaborate better with team members with Notion and Slack.


  • Information Sharing: Text messages and emails can provide essential updates and quick notices. It is reported that 92% of businesses use email as their broadcasting and promotion medium.
  • Facilitating Teamwork: Collaboration tools, such as Slack, Notion, Google Workspace, and instant messaging, can facilitate group discussion, increasing employee productivity and collaboration. The Grammarly study in 2023 shows that 72% of business owners have noticed increased team productivity with the right communication channels.
  • Professional Networking: Social media, such as Facebook and TikTok, can be used to communicate with customers and nurture relationships. According to the Mckinsey Report,  Companies can increase productivity by 25% using different social technologies.
  • Documenting Conversations: Emails and text messaging can help you keep a written record of your conversations. A survey of the CTIA (Cellular Telephone Industries Association) national tracking poll revealed that 93% of consumers trust text messaging to interact with businesses.
  • Customer Support: Live chat and phone calls can provide instant assistance and address customer queries in real time. Channels like live chat increases revenue, significantly improving business growth.

Must-Have Channels for Business Communication

Modern workspaces leverage different communication channels to ensure an effective communication solution across an organization. However, each channel serves a specific need.

1. Conference Calls

Conference calls facilitate group discussion by allowing multiple participants to join a single phone meeting simultaneously. These calls can also include video using platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet. They are a cost-effective communication method that supports both remote and hybrid work.

The major benefit of conference calling is that it supports real-time collaboration among geographically dispersed teams. However, the potential technical issues can lead to connectivity issues and poor audio call quality.

When To Use It?
Use conference calls for team meetings, discussions, client and stakeholder updates, webinars & training, and project updates that require feedback from multiple leaders and stakeholders.

2. Phone Calls

Phone calls enable instantaneous direct or personal verbal interaction, which is ideal for handling urgent matters. They can be initiated using mobile phones, landlines, telephones, or VoIP phones. Phone calls allow real-time communication between two or more parties. They are often used for addressing sensitive issues or complex matters that require both parties to discuss them in detail.

The primary advantage is that they facilitate immediate feedback with a personal touch. However, they can be annoying and disruptive if not scheduled prior.

When To Use It?
Use phone calls for urgent situations, follow-ups, instant clarification & explanation, coordination & scheduling, personal discussions, and relationship management.

3. E-mail Communication

E-mail communication remains the most used tool, offering the ability to share documents and messages in written form. It also allows threaded conversations with attachments like photos and files. With such features, email ensures a clear conversation history, improving tracking and organization of a discussion.

The key benefit is that email allows instant message exchange, facilitating timely decision-making. However, due to its nonverbal nature, email can cause misunderstandings and message overload, making it challenging to prioritize important messages.

When To Use It?
Use emails for formal digital communication, leave request applications, detailed instructions, agreement documentation, and communication with team members in different time zones.

4. Text Messages

Text messages, or SMS (Short Message Service), are short written messages exchanged over the phone. They are often used for quick and informal business communication and to avoid difficult phone conversations.

The key advantage of text messages is that they enable quick communication with instant delivery and response. On the other hand, SMS is vulnerable to data breaches, making it an unreliable form of communication for conveying sensitive information.

When To Use It?
Use text messages for reminders, quick updates, and informal co-worker communications.

5. Live Chat

Live chat is a real-time text-based communication channel that enables customers to connect with customer service agents or company representatives via a chatbot or live agent. It is often used to provide immediate query resolution, which is more convenient than emails. Live chat provides instant support with real-time assistance, improving efficiency in customer service operations.

The primary benefit of live chat is that it improves customer satisfaction by promptly addressing issues with real-time support. However, the major drawback is that it requires a dedicated professional team to provide instant assistance, which is challenging to accommodate during peak hours.

When To Use It?
Use the live chat to provide immediate assistance with real-time messaging for customers regarding sales inquiries, product support, feedback collection, and technical support.

6. Social Media

Social media refers to the online applications and platforms that enable businesses to interact with customers and other users by creating and sharing ideas and information. Examples include platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Instagram. These platforms facilitate customer engagement, promoting product awareness, business marketing, employee recruitment, and professional networking.

The significant advantage is that social media facilitates global reach and engagement, enabling a border market presence. However, the downside is the risk of breaches and negative exposure. Negative reviews and posts can instantly tarnish a brand’s image and thus require constant monitoring to mitigate these risks.

When To Use It?
Use social media to increase business awareness, promote products, recruit potential candidates, network, and gain insights on competitors & the industry. 

6. Collaboration Tools

Collaboration tools are software applications and platforms that facilitate communication, enhancing employee productivity and teamwork. Examples include Slack, Google Workspace, Notion, and Microsoft Teams. These tools provide a range of functionalities, such as project management, file sharing, group chat, video conferencing, and messaging, significantly streamlining business workflows.

The primary benefit of collaboration tools is their unified communication platform, which offers messages, calls, and videos in a single cohesive hub, significantly enhancing team collaboration. In contrast, the drawback is employees might need more user training to learn how to use all of the functionalities. 

When To Use It?
Use collaboration tools to conduct virtual meetings to connect with remote workers, communicate internally within teams, collaborate on projects, and integrate other communication tools. 

How to Pick the Right Channel of Communication for My Business?

Workplace communication statistics show that business failures are due to ineffective communication and collaboration. In comparison, effective communication with well-established communication channels can increase productivity by 25% as per Mckinsey's report. However, in 2024, one-third of communicators are dissatisfied with the communication channels used in the workplace. So, choosing the right communication channel is essential to increasing productivity and superior outcomes.

1. Determine the Purpose of Communication

Choose a channel that aligns with your message's goal. Assess the requirements; is it used for sharing information, requesting, negotiating a deal, collaborating, or for an all-in-one purpose?

2. Understand Team and Audience Preferences

Know your employees and audience. To ensure a smooth interaction, consider communication tools that are comfortable and familiar for both parties.

3. Evaluate Content Privacy

Consider the sensitivity of the information you’re handling. To protect its confidentiality, use channels that offer authentication and encryption.

4. Consider Integration Capabilities

Consider the compatibility of your communication channels with other software tools you utilize. These integrations can streamline workflows and save time.

5. Evaluate your Budget

Assess your budget and choose a channel that provides the required functionalities accordingly.

💡Quick Tip:

Consider picking a unified communication system that incorporates multiple channels into one cohesive hub. A unified solution will streamline your employees' workflow and business operations.

Choosing a Business Phone System with Effective Communication Channels

When selecting a business phone system, consider budget, effectiveness, productivity, and support for multiple communication channels. Look for unified communication features like integration and collaboration with various communication tools. Additionally, assess your business's external and internal needs.

At Calilio, we understand the importance of effective communication for business success. We provide a unified communication platform that supports multiple communication channels, including video, voice calls, and file sharing. You can enhance your communication infrastructure for just $12 per user per month or create a customized communication solution.

FAQ’s on Business Communication Channel

Which communication channels are most effective in businesses?

The most effective business communication channels include phone calls, video conferencing, emails, instant messaging, live chat, and collaboration tools. The effectiveness depends upon your business requirements.

How are different channels of communication classified?

Different communication channels are classified based on their direction (vertical & horizontal), formality (formal & informal), and mode ( synchronous vs. asynchronous).

What are some of the formal channels of communication?

Formal communication channels include emails, official reports, meetings, formal letters, and presentations. These channels are used for structured and official communication within a business.

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