Informal Communication is the opposite of formal communication. Usually used when in face to face conversation with a friend or relative- a personally known person. Informal communication is also used in e-mail, texts, telephone conversations. etc.
Informal communication arises out of all those channels that fall outside the formal channels and it is also known as grapevine. It is established around the societal affiliation of members of the organization. Informal communication does not follow authority lines as in the case of formal communication.
Informal communication takes place due to the individual needs of the members of an organization and subsists in every organization. Normally, such communication is oral and may be expressed even by simple glance, sign or silence. Informal communication, is implicit, spontaneous multidimensional and diverse. It oftenly works in group of people, i.e. when one person has some information of interest; he passes it on to his informal group and so on.
An organization can make efficient use of informal channels to fortify the formal channels of communication. It acts as a valuable purpose in expressing certain information that cannot be channeled via the official channels. It satisfies the people desires to identify what is happening in the organization and offers an opportunity to express dreads, worries and complaints. Informal communication also facilitates to ameliorate managerial decisions as more people are involved in the process of decision-making.
Inspite on many advantages, informal communication has certain disadvantages. Informal communication contains facts, deceptions, rumors and unclear data. The informal channels of communication may transmit completely imprecise information that may harm rather than help an organization. In addition, it is impossible to fix the responsibility for its origin or flow of information. However, for the efficient working of any organization both formal and informal communications are required.