HR Glossary
Informal Communication

Informal Communication

Updated on:
August 22, 2022


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Table of Content

What is Informal Communication?

Informal communication in the workplace is typically more casual than formal communication. It is based on social relationships between coworkers, rather than on the official business structure.

Informal business communication between the CEO and an hourly worker is important for employee morale and can encourage a sense of belonging for employees, clients, and customers.

What is the Difference Between Formal and Informal Business Communication?


Formal and informal business communication are two very different ways of communicating and have different rules and expectations. Formal communication is communication that is done within the context of an established business structure. The focus of formal business communication is consistency, professionalism, and accuracy.

In contrast, informal business communication is a more casual way of communicating. Informal communication usually occurs with peers, friends, or family, and the focus is on being enjoyable, relaxed, and casual.

Formal communication is the sharing of official information about the workplace. It is dictated by the established hierarchical organization of the business. Informal communication does not follow any rules of predetermined policy that formal does and is the opposite of formal communication.

Most business communication is a mixture of formal and informal communication, and it is important to be able to communicate both professionally and informally.


Informal Communication Advantages:


Informal communication has many advantages over formal communication.

Informal communication is often quicker and easier to understand, and workers can use it in different situations. Informal communication’s lack of formality makes it easier for people to get information across.

Informal communication is also more flexible than formal communication. For example, informal communication allows workers to use several different channels at once. Workers can use different methods such as face-to-face communication, telephone, email, or text messages to communicate.

Informal communication is also less formal and much more flexible than formal communication.



Informal Communication disadvantages:


In informal communication relationships, the relationships tend to be somewhat casual in nature and communication is performed without the need for formal rules. Informal communication relationships can limit the amount of control that managers have over the work environment, as managers are not typically able to maintain official policies or procedures.

Informal communication relationships can discourage employees from reporting issues or problems they encounter in the workplace.

If an issue is identified, employees may be hesitant to discuss the matter with management for fear of repercussions or embarrassment.

If employees are hesitant to report issues or problems they encounter in the workplace, they may have difficulty identifying and resolving issues.