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Survey Shows Communication Is A Top Problem
October 19, 2010

Technology can be both an enabler and a disabler of effective communication among architecture, engineering, planning and environmental consulting firms. Too much reliance on e-mail and instant messaging leads to communication problems among firms, while tools such as intranets are hugely useful.

According to ZweigWhite’s 2010 Principals, Partners, and Owners Survey, communication is the seventh concern among firm leaders-with many leading efforts to improve communication both at the interpersonal and project levels.

Firm leaders interviewed for an article in a recent issue of The Zweig Letter, said breakdowns in communication can lead to much bigger problems if not addressed.

Many firms are addressing their communication problems by encouraging more face-to-face interaction among staff members.

“I think we are losing our ability to communicate with each other as we rely more on digital means of communicating,” said Keith Scoular, chief operating officer at Archaeological Consulting Services, Ltd. in Tempe, AZ.

“What we are trying to do is discourage the in-house use of e-mails in order to force more one-on-one communication,” said Scoular. “We have found that in many instances we can get more done in person then we can with the constant back and forth of e-mails.”

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