E-mail and text widely used to duck awkward work confrontations

UK workers are hiding behind text messages and e-mail technology to avoid ‘sticky situations’ research has revealed.

A survey of more than 2,100 people, commissioned by the Post Office, found that 73% of respondents admitted to delegating difficult tasks at work by e-mail and text, while half used this technology to contact new business prospects.

The report, Etiquette in the Digital Age, found that one in four young people believe it to be appropriate to report to their line manager when they are sick via e-mail or text message and, in a few cases, bosses have sacked an employee by text message.

Stewart Fox-Mills, head of telephony at the Post Office, said: “Digital technology is constantly giving us new ways to communicate, which enriches our day-to-day lives. But we’ve found that many people are using modern technology to keep a ‘digital distance’ and avoid face-to-face or verbal confrontation.”

Respondents also admitted dealing by text or e-mail with:

  • Apologising for mistakes – 51%
  • Resigning from a job – 13%
  • Firing an employee – 2%.

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