Workplace Communication: Getting to the Point Quickly and Courteously

business meeting
The Business Language

Effective workplace communication needs to demonstrate:

  • a style that achieves clarity and conciseness
  • a tone that achieves politeness, but not humility
  • a presentation that is flawless in terms of format and language

Workplace communication takes place, essentially, to get things done between staff in workplace situations. Its practical nature is reflected in the writing style. A common rule on workplace communication states that it should be as long as necessary and as short as possible. This rule applies to letters, memos, reports, e-mails, CVs, meetings and phone conversations. Busy people do not appreciate wordiness; they reserve their praise for communication that is clear, concise and correct.


A clear and concise style is achieved by choosing the appropriate language for the purpose. For example, in academic communication the following sentence is perfectly acceptable:

  • There are a number of reasons to account for the recent decline in Hong Kong's economy.

But the effective workplace communicator would phrase this differently:

  • Hong Kong’s economy has declined recently due to a number of reasons…
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