The old adage states that a bad workman blames his tools. New research suggest that actually the workman, or woman, may not be so bad at their job after all and that the tools at one’s disposal are often inappropriate.

WebEx has launched research, including a brain study, which reveals a disconnection between the communication tools people are using in business and which tools are actually the right ones for the job. The research is backed up by the finding that two thirds of office workers want improved communications tools.

The research combines quantitative research from over 1,000 UK office workers and a study from Mindlab International which measured the brain activity of 24 office workers while conducting business related tasks using four different communication tools – telephone conferencing, instant messaging, video conferencing and web conferencing.

The Mindlab study found that visual communications are the most effective tools in a business environment, based on accuracy, efficiency and user experience. This was followed by telephone conferencing and instant messaging, however the research highlighted that each technology’s performance varied depending on the type of task at hand.

The Opinion Matters survey found that email is the favoured way of passing off work to others. 40 percent of UK workers revealed that in the previous week a co-worker had delegated work via email which they should have done themselves

The studies throw up some interesting findings – although workers are unhappy with their communications tools and are over reliant on email, the Mindlab study has proven that certain technologies should be used for certain business related tasks and not others. Office workers need better education, training and awareness about which communication technologies they should be using for certain jobs.