What Is Formal and Informal Communication?


Quick Answer

Formal communication is communication that takes place in a company in a vertical manner from management to employees or from employees to management, or it may be in a horizontal manner with workers at the same level. Informal communication occurs, when employees communicate with each other outside of the formal organizational communication structure put into place.

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Full Answer

Informal communication would include employees talking to each other around the water cooler. Formal communication could include managers getting together for a meeting or a human resources manager giving a presentation to employees. When people in companies communicate formally, there's usually some type of documentation, such as the minutes of a meeting, while this type of documentation is typically absent from informal communication.

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