Grammarly Business and Harris Poll Find Poor Workplace Communication Is Sinking Productivity and Performance

Second annual “State of Business Communication” report explores how organizations can achieve new levels of productivity and profitability in a changing work landscape

The 2023 "State of Business Communication: The Path to Productivity, Performance, and Profit” report from Grammarly Business and The Harris Poll reveals poor workplace communication is a growing problem. (Graphic: Business Wire)

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Grammarly, the company powering effective communication for over 50,000 teams, today announced the second annual Grammarly BusinessState of Business Communication: The Path to Productivity, Performance, and Profit” report, revealing that communicating effectively at work is a growing challenge for U.S. businesses and employees. In partnership with The Harris Poll, the study shows deepening effects of poor communication on everything from productivity to stress, confidence, and job satisfaction.

Effective communication is essential to meet new business, customer, and workforce demands as organizations navigate continued market pressures and workplace transformation. The data shows we’re communicating more than ever across channels, but its effectiveness is waning. Employees spent 18% more time year-over-year (YoY) communicating in writing, and both workers and leaders are using more asynchronous communication (communication that is not in real time or does not expect immediate responses). Yet, leaders report a 12% drop in the effectiveness of written communication over the same period—and “decreased productivity” as a result (+15% YoY).

“The research is clear: Leaders who shrug off the massive impact of poor communication on their bottom line will lose,” said Matt Rosenberg, Grammarly’s Chief Revenue Officer and Head of Grammarly Business. “Last year, we found that ineffective communication costs U.S. businesses up to $1.2 trillion annually, or $12,506 per employee. This year’s report shows the problem is getting worse with greater impact on everything from operational efficiency to employee and customer satisfaction. At a time when the stakes are critically high, leaders who invest in empowering efficient, consistent communication across their organizations will see results and profits climb.”

By illuminating the state of communication trends, challenges, and tools, the study of U.S. business leaders and knowledge workers underscores the growing link between communication and company performance in an evolving landscape. Additional findings include:

  • Workers now spend over 70% of the workweek communicating on various channels, but most (58%) still wish they had better tools to be more effective—especially Gen Z (63%), Millennial (65%), Tech (68%), and ESL (71%) respondents.
  • Over 8 in 10 business leaders (84%) are feeling the downsides of poor communication, with lower productivity, missed deadlines, and increased costs ranking as the top three.
  • Workers report increased stress (+7% YoY) due to poor communication, and most leaders (60%) and nearly half (45%) of workers say personal connections have suffered in the hybrid workplace.

Grow—or sacrifice—revenue and results based on communication: Effective communication drives higher internal and external performance, with increased productivity (72%) and customer satisfaction (63%) topping leaders’ list of outcomes. Of those reporting higher customer satisfaction, 69% say that the increase is 10% or more. Yet most leaders (68%) lost at least $10,000 or more in business in the past year due to poor communication—13% even report $50,000+ lost. One in five also say it eroded their brand credibility or reputation.

Prioritize quality and tone for productive collaboration: Leaders (72%) and workers (53%) alike are paying more attention to the tone of messages lately. Most workers (62%) say a positive tone drives a faster response, and Millennials and Gen Zers are especially likely to do higher-quality work based on a positive tone. But the rise in more written and asynchronous communication makes it harder to discern tone—and 63% of workers report spending too much time trying to convey messages in the right way.

Rethink investments to augment teams’ skills and capabilities: Leaders prioritize investments in more processes and platforms instead of empowering teams to communicate better where they already work. They consider the platform of communication as “very important” (66%), but only 36% of workers say the same—ranking it last after aspects like content, tone, and empathy. While eight in 10 leaders are considering AI tools to augment employees to be more productive and effective, it’s not in their top three investment areas to improve communication—with better processes and strategies topping the list (88%).

For more findings and insights on the state of workplace communication—including breakdowns by demographic, function (customer support, marketing, sales), and more—download the full Grammarly Business report: “State of Business Communication: The Path to Productivity, Performance, and Profit.”

Additional Resources:


The findings are based on a survey conducted online by The Harris Poll from October 14–31, 2022, among 1,001 knowledge workers and 251 business leaders in the U.S. Respondents include employees working full-time at corporations with 150 employees or more and represent a diverse mix of industries and job functions. The online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, download the full report.

About Grammarly

Grammarly is on a mission to improve lives by improving communication. Every day, tens of millions of people and 50,000 teams worldwide trust Grammarly’s AI-enabled communication assistance to help them write confidently and achieve results. Our comprehensive offerings—Grammarly Premium, Grammarly Business, Grammarly for Education, and Grammarly for Developers—empower individuals, enterprises, and organizations with unmatched communication support wherever writing happens. Across all product offerings, Grammarly’s real-time suggestions provide comprehensive feedback powered by a combination of AI and human expertise. Grammarly is one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential Companies, one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in AI, a member of the Forbes Cloud 100, and one of Inc.’s Best Workplaces. Learn more at

About The Harris Poll

The Harris Poll is one of the longest-running surveys in the U.S., tracking public opinion, motivations, and social sentiment since 1963, and is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that delivers social intelligence for transformational times. We work with clients in three primary areas: building 21st century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Our mission is to provide insights and guidance to help leaders make the best decisions possible. To learn more, please visit


Sheridan Smalley

Release Summary

New research from Grammarly Business and The Harris Poll shows deepening effects of poor communication on everything from productivity to stress.


Sheridan Smalley