Memo: Bad Handwriting Affects Work Communication, Study Says

published Mar 21, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Martí Sans/Stocksy)

While doctors are usually the punchline in illegible handwriting jokes, turns out, it’s not just a problem in the medical profession. A recent study that says poor handwriting is the root of many miscommunication issues in the workplace.

The survey—conducted on behalf of BIC USA INC—found that of the 2,000 Americans questioned, each had experienced at least two instances in their professional lives where handwriting led to a miscommunication or caused an office riff.

Exposing the importance of legible handwriting as it relates to productivity amongst colleagues in a professional environment, at least seven in ten people noted that struggling to read a co-workers handwriting is a challenge they often face.

“Despite all of the technology available to us, writing remains an important part of daily life, whether it is to communicate with a loved one, organize oneself, or for memory retention,” said Janel Lewis, Director of Stationery Marketing for BIC.

While the workplace is an arena that can demand handwritten communication, our personal lives often require the same. And, as the soil settles into the technology age, there’s a surge in people who prefer digital to paper. Whether it’s reading via Kindle versus physical books or taking notes on your phone versus an old-fashioned sticky note, it seems lots of consumers are opting for the more convenient way of doing things.

However, contrary to the fact that at every turn adults and children alike are glued to their handhelds, 86 percent of the participants still prefer the physical act of writing things down as their main source of structure; with “writing lists” being their favorite method to keep thoughts organized.

With the slow—and rather heartbreaking—demise of print media and hard copies, perhaps this survey is an indication that handwritten love letters and grocery lists will stick around for years to come.