7 Key Benefits of Face-to-Face Communication at Work

Updated February 3, 2023

A group of three people laugh and talk near a window.

Effective communication between team members is vital in the workplace. Some individuals may prefer to speak with colleagues face to face so they can personally connect with each other. If you'd like to gain skills that can improve problem-solving and help you form closer professional bonds, experimenting with this communication style may be right for you. 

In this article, we discuss face-to-face communication and ways it can benefit you, and we offer tips to improve your communication style.

What is face-to-face communication?

Face-to-face communication is an interaction between two or more people who can physically see one another. In the modern workplace, this style of communication can occur in person or via video chat. Team members can use face-to-face encounters and vital nonverbal cues to build meaningful relationships with their coworkers.

Although advancements in technology have made it easier to communicate from long distances, there are still advantages to meeting colleagues face to face. If in-person meetings are challenging to schedule at your place of work, it can be beneficial to use the camera option to show your face during conference calls. This may help remote team members enjoy the benefits of face-to-face meetings alongside in-person team members.

Related: Common Communication Barriers (With Examples and Tips)

7 benefits of face-to-face conversation

Here are the positive attributes of face-to-face encounters in the workplace:

1. It establishes trust

Trust is an important element of a workplace relationship. Communicating face to face can show your colleagues that you've their best interests in mind. They can observe your body language to determine you're being transparent, which can increase your credibility as a team member.

They can also gain a glimpse into your personality. Face-to-face interactions can allow you to invoke sincerity in your words and practice actions that affirm what you've spoken. The result may be a sense of trust between you and fellow members of your team.

2. It allows for easier persuasion

Face-to-face conversations can also make it easier to persuade your colleagues of an idea. Here are a few reasons why this works:

  • Instead of relying on an email to express your point of view, you can engage them in person, using direct eye contact to show your commitment to your work.

  • Your teammates may feel more compelled to listen if they can hear your voice and watch your body language at the same time. 

  • The connection between you and your coworker might be deeper, enabling you to convince them to decide in your favor.

For example, business-to-business (B2B) salespeople often use persuasive tactics in person to reach agreements. Before making a sales pitch, they can meet the potential buyers and officially introduce themselves. The buyers can connect the person in front of them with the person they may have spoken to over the phone or messaged through email. This can make the pitch more memorable.

3. It boosts active participation

Team members may be more likely to engage in workplace meetings if they can see the faces of their teammates. This means that face-to-face encounters may build camaraderie more efficiently than email or faceless video conferences. It may also make it easier for you to get to know your teammates and stimulate productive conversations. 

The passion your team shows for a project might also inspire you to create more innovative ideas. Increased engagement levels can contribute to a higher quality of work, which can enable the organization to reach its goals.

Related: How To Encourage Participation From Employees in Meetings

4. It enhances conflict resolution

If there's a conflict in the workplace, a face-to-face conversation can be a useful technique to solve that conflict. Your coworker's nonverbal cues can offer insight into how they truly feel about a situation. For instance, if you propose a solution that satisfies them, you might see the relaxing of their shoulders and arms, showing that they're no longer defensive about their positions.

When they express their perspectives, their voices can indicate their emotions as well. For example, a low voice might show worry, while a louder voice might show anger. Communicating face to face can allow you to convey your expectations in a firm tone so your team understands how to conduct themselves in the future. It may be helpful to invite the conflicting parties to the same room or conference call to explain their viewpoints.

Related: How To Communicate Effectively With a Difficult Team

5. It provides clarity to conversations

Meeting with colleagues face-to-face can allow you to share your messages clearly in the way you intend. Compared to face-to-face encounters, electronic messaging can make it easier for a coworker to misconstrue what you meant.

For example, if you attach an exclamation point at the end of your sentence in an email, the receiver might believe you're upset with them when, in reality, you're simply conveying the urgency of the task. If you can see your colleague's face, they can use your tone and body language to assign meaning to your words, avoiding misinformation. Also, if there's confusion about something you discussed, you can clarify your points instantly.

6. It saves time during the workday

Face-to-face encounters can also be quicker than other methods of contact. For example, if you send a question to a colleague over email, you may have to wait for them to respond. The conversation can take longer if you've follow-up questions. 

Face-to-face conversations can allow you to deliver your messages and receive a response almost immediately. Since your colleague is in your presence, you can take advantage of their availability and collect the information you need in one conversation.

7. It improves job satisfaction

The feelings of connection and teamwork that can accompany face-to-face encounters may help individuals feel professional satisfaction. This can allow them to remain at the same and enjoy themselves more. For the company, this can save money because it may allow them to retain valuable team members for many years. 

Read more: Common Communication Barriers (With Examples and Tips)

How to improve communication that occurs face-to-face

If you're interested in strengthening your communication skills in person, consider following these tips:

1. Read nonverbal cues

Nonverbal communication can illustrate your message just as effectively as verbal communication. When you're speaking to a coworker face to face, match your body language to your words. Here are some tips to help you do so:

  • Be mindful of your stance and posture when delivering your messages. 

  • Maintain direct eye contact and nod your head to show you're actively listening.

  • Use your hands and arms to emphasize a part of your message or to further illustrate your meaning.

For example, imagine you decide to negotiate a salary increase with your supervisor. You rehearse what you plan to say and practice angling your body to display your confidence. When you make your pitch, your words are loud and clear, and the eye contact and hand gestures align with the firmness of your delivery. The pitch effectively engages your supervisor because every part of your message is in sync.

Read more: 9 Examples of Nonverbal Communication in the Workplace

2. Practice articulating your thoughts

While one-on-one communication offers you a chance to clarify your meaning immediately, it might be beneficial to practice how you verbalize your thoughts. Remember that your audience has a certain attention span, which means being concise may help your words have a lasting impact.

To articulate your thoughts clearly, prioritize the information you want your colleague to know by stating it first. Next, use specific language so they can understand the context of your message. If you're speaking with someone who has a different professional background, consider using simple language to make comprehension easier.

3. Prioritize in-person or virtual meetings

One way to practice your face-to-face conversation skills is to have several in-person or virtual meetings with your colleagues. Reserve time in your work schedule for you and your team to connect on a deeper level. 

When attending a video conference, consider asking your audience to turn on their camera features and unmute their microphones to speak, instead of typing their thoughts. When meeting in the same room, it might be helpful to request your coworkers gather in a circle or sit in the same area to encourage physical interaction.

Read more: 9 Audio and Video Tips To Nail Your Next Virtual Meeting

Face-to-face conversation skills

Here are some specific skills that might help you gain the most out of face-to-face conversations:

  • Empathy

  • Patience

  • Active listening

  • Eye contact

  • Clear speech

  • Humor

  • Confidence

Nonverbal communication is one of many tools that can help you make a good impression in interviews and in your professional life. However, candidate assessments should be based on skills and qualifications, and workplaces should strive to be inclusive and understanding of individual differences in communication styles.


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