Lack of good manners when using collaboration technologies is a barrier to business success, a forum of chief information officers (CIOs) and academics has warned.

A report by the Leading Edge Forum (LEF) warns that UK businesses ignore basic good manners – for example by failing to consider the recipient of messages – when using collaboration technologies. This causes confusion for the recipient and creates barriers to getting the job done, the report said.

The LEF research found that organisations provide staff with training in how to operate the tools but do not provide any guidance about how and when to use the technology.

The report warns that organsations will not get value from the technologies if they are not used properly.

The LEF's Doug Neal said: "This is a serious problem for business. The investment is simply not resulting in satisfaction yet it is easy to put right. Companies need to think before they act."

The problem would "get worse" as new versions of Microsoft's Office suite and Sharepoint software appear, with greater capabilities, he added.

The report offers tips for better use of collaborative technologies, including:

  • Don't use a broadcast meeting invitation to gauge interest in a topic.
  • If you expect discussion on an issue, don't send it by email.
  • Always assume that whatever you say by instant messaging will be seen by others.
  • Establish the owner of any reference document and a process for keeping it up to date.