British Workers Are Scared Of Texting Their Boss

texting smartphone SMS ©shutterstock B Calkins

Ricoh study finds one in five would feel uncomfortable contacting a senior colleague if they needed help

A significant amount of British workers have admitted that they would be too scared or nervous to use their mobile devices to call or ask a colleague for help, according to a new study.

One in five (21 percent) of British workers participating in a YouGov survey commissioned by Ricoh said that they would feel uncomfortable texting or sending an instant messaging a senior colleague if they needed urgent help at work.

And of these, nearly one in three (27 percent) felt that it would be impolite, nearly half (47 percent) didn’t feel it was appropriate and two per cent even reported they would feel too ‘scared’.


Man surprised at text message.Despite having no inclination towards texting, the majority (85 percent) of respondents were happy to use email to communicate with work colleagues. This was far ahead of other tools such as (51 percent) with instant messenger tools and SMS (60 percent).

Of those who use social media to communicate with their co-workers, nearly a third (29 percent) cited feeling uncomfortable using it.

“The stereotypical British culture of etiquette and politeness is a fantastic feature of this country, but it shouldn’t prevent workers from using technology to interact with colleagues or be fearful of giving honest feedback,” said Phil Keoghan, CEO of Ricoh UK & Ireland.

“Employees should be encouraged to feel confident about using technology in the workplace to engage with colleagues. We shouldn’t worry that instant messaging our bosses or giving negative feedback to our teams makes us look brash, impatient or even impolite.

“Rather, we should champion the initiative shown and the diligence of employees to ensure first-class products and services for customers, building stronger relationships all round.”

The report follows similar findings from Ricoh that suggest the UK is struggling to turn into a nation of mobile workers as productivity apparently takes a nosedive whenever we are out of the office. 75 percent of UK workers believed they were less productive when away from their desk as they did not have the right technology to do their jobs effectively.

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