At Inc.'s 1994 Growing the Company Conference for small-company managers, 159 attendees were asked about the communications technologies their companies use. Voice mail and internal electronic mail were the most widespread and most satisfactory. The biggest benefit was speed; the biggest problem was impersonality.

How frequently does your company use the following communication tools? (by percentage of respondents)

Con- Regu- Some- Hardly Not

stantly larly times ever at all

Voice mail 47% 20% 4% 3% 26%

On-line services 12% 21% 25% 15% 28%

Internal e-mail 31% 18% 11% 4% 35%

Teleconferencing 11% 16% 24% 17% 33%

Note: Because of rounding, numbers in some categories do not add up to 100%.

Source: Inc. Business Resources, Boston, and Susan Peterson Productions, Washington, D.C., October 1994.

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