Digital Signage vs. Email: Pros & Cons for Employee Communication

Digital Signage vs. Email: Which Is More Effective for Deskless Employee Communication?

Digital Signage vs. Email: Which Is More Effective for Deskless Employee Communication?

Last updated on May 30, 2024 at 10:59 am

In today’s fast-paced and digitally-driven world, communication in the workplace is constantly evolving. With an increasing number of employees working remotely or on-the-go, traditional methods of internal communication such as email are no longer sufficient. This has led to the rise of digital signage, a dynamic and interactive form of employee communication that utilizes screens and content management systems to reach deskless workers. 

But with so many options available, it can be difficult for businesses to determine which method is more effective – digital signage or email? In this blog post, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of each approach and help you decide which one best suits your organization’s needs when it comes to effectively communicating with your deskless employees.

The Problem: Why Email Doesn’t Work for Deskless Workers?

Email, which was once considered the ultimate form of workplace communication, faces challenges in resonating with non-desk employees. 

The reason is simple: the unique working environment of deskless employees. To begin with, these employees might not have regular access to computers or corporate email addresses, which can impede their ability to promptly receive important announcements.

Additionally, deskless workers are frequently involved in physically strenuous jobs, interacting with customers, or being on the shop floor; they struggle to find time to consistently check their emails due to their hectic schedules. 

As a result, valuable messages can be lost, or they are likely to be ignored completely. Furthermore, the high volume of text in emails received due to the dynamic nature of their work adds to the information overload. This information overload makes it challenging for non-desk workers to identify important information among a long trail of messages.

In such a scenario, both organizations and deskless employees are at a loss, as employees may miss out on important updates, announcements, or tasks that are crucial for their work performance. Thus, organizations require a more efficient communication system tailored to the needs of non-desk workers.

Digital signage emerges as a powerful contemporary solution that effectively delivers important information to non-desk workers in real time, decreasing the chances of messages being overlooked. Let’s delve into the core of digital signage vs. email for deskless employee communication.

The Solution: How Digital Signage Can Bridge the Communication Gap?

Digital signage is a flexible and dynamic answer to the communication challenges faced by the deskless workforce. Digital signage is a screen-based solution that can show different messages, such as safety alerts or business news, in a visually appealing manner. 

Visuals are unquestionably a more powerful form of communication when compared to traditional methods such as emails or flyers. This feature makes digital signage a potent tool for reaching workers who may not have consistent access to a computer or desk.

Digital signage offers great visibility and frequent updates to ensure all employees, regardless of their location within the workplace, can obtain essential information. These monitors can be strategically placed in break rooms, hallways, or other communal areas frequented by employees, enhancing visibility.

Digital signage allows showcasing engaging and visually appealing materials like pictures, videos, and animations, enhancing the likelihood of grabbing employees’ attention despite their hectic routines. 

It can be used as a platform for efficient dissemination of various kinds of information, such as company news, safety updates, training materials, and employee recognition.

Also Read: Internal Communications Metrics to Look Out For in 2024

Head-to-Head: Digital Signage vs. Email for Workplace Communication

Features Digital Signage Email
Accessibility Readily available to every employee, irrespective of their computer or email access.  Relies on computers or mobile devices with internet connections, making it less accessible for deskless employees.
Visibility It provides excellent visibility by strategically positioning screens in common areas of the building, like break rooms, lobbies, and hallways, where employees are likely to see them. It requires employees to actively monitor their cluttered inboxes, which could lead to messages being ignored or neglected.
Engagement Attracts interest with visually attractive material such as pictures and videos, encouraging increased participation.


Emails, which are typically filled with lots of text, can overwhelm deskless workers and result in low levels of engagement (the email open rate is only 34.46%).
Time-sensitivity When information is to be provided in real time, digital signage keeps employees informed of important information in a timely manner. Emails may not always be checked immediately, leading to delays in receiving time-sensitive information.
Cost Though the initial setup expenses may be higher, maintenance costs are quite low over the long run. Generally seen as a cost-efficient method of communication, emails may incur unseen costs from overlooked messages or ineffective communication, leading to reduced productivity.
Customization Allows for easy customization of content and design to cater to specific audiences or messages. Offers limited customization options, often resulting in generic and impersonal communication that may not resonate with recipients.

When considering the difference between digital signage and email, the benefits of digital signage are emphasized in terms of time sensitivity and cost efficiency in the comparison above. 

Although email is frequently utilized as a form of communication, it is important to consider its constraints in terms of quick information sharing and possible additional expenses when choosing the best method of communication for your deskless workforce. Therefore, opting for digital signage instead of email can lead to more efficient and cost-effective communication practices.

The Ideal Communication Strategy: A Multi-Channel Approach

Using a range of communication tactics can help information reach a wider audience and enhance the likelihood of it being received quickly. This method also engages various stakeholders with different communication preferences. Let’s analyze it in detail:

  • Emails for detailed information and two-way communication: Emails are a useful tool for providing detailed information and facilitating two-way communication. They facilitate the sharing of information in an official and recorded way, guaranteeing transparency and responsibility. Furthermore, emails offer a space for recipients to reply when convenient, encouraging open communication and feedback.
  • Internal mobile apps for on-the-go access: Internal mobile applications are ideal for providing quick access to key updates and information to deskless employees. They offer a useful means of communication and information sharing for staff members, encouraging a collaborative and efficient work environment.
  • Team meetings for in-depth discussions: Team meetings offer a chance for thorough discussions, sharing ideas, and working together on projects in real time. They enable in-person conversations that contribute to developing better connections and improving collaboration among team members.
  • Digital signage for reaching a broad deskless workforce: Digital signage enables essential information to be presented in an aesthetically pleasing manner, ensuring that all employees stay informed and involved. Moreover, digital signage can be quickly updated in real time to ensure employees are informed about company news and announcements.

Although digital signage is better than email for reaching deskless employees, using a combination of communication methods across different channels is the recommended strategy for increasing engagement and retaining information effectively. 

Besides utilizing digital signage, incorporating email for more information and interactive communication, internal mobile apps for convenient access, and team meetings for deeper discussions can improve communication efficiency at work.

Also Read: AI for Internal Communications: Enhancing Enhance Engagement

Summing Up

Both digital signage and email play pivotal roles in communicating with deskless employees, each with its own strengths. Digital signage offers real-time, visually engaging updates that can capture attention immediately, making it ideal for dynamic environments where quick information dissemination is crucial. On the other hand, email provides a more detailed, personal, and archival method of communication, allowing for thorough documentation and follow-up. Ultimately, the most effective strategy may involve a hybrid approach, leveraging the immediacy of digital signage alongside the depth and reach of email to ensure that all employees stay informed, engaged, and connected. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can organizations customize digital signage to suit the unique communication needs of different departments?

Yes, digital signage platforms can be customized, allowing organizations to tailor content for specific departments or employee groups. This customization ensures that each team receives relevant and pertinent information, enhancing overall communication effectiveness.

How can businesses assess the success of digital signage in engaging deskless employees?

Metrics such as content views, engagement rates, and feedback surveys can assist organizations in determining the success of digital signage in reaching and communicating with deskless staff. By analyzing these metrics, businesses can refine their strategies and content to better engage their workforce.

Are there any security concerns associated with using digital signage for workplace communication?

While digital signage systems are generally secure, organizations should implement appropriate measures to protect sensitive information and guard against unauthorized access or tampering. Regular security audits and robust encryption protocols can further enhance the security of these communication systems.


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