Digital Transformation Today

Could Your Company Function Without Sending A Single Email?

The concept of “no-email Fridays”made the rounds a few years ago, promising relief to workers who find the endless inbox deluge a serious obstacle to actually getting work done.

While many companies have tried to improve productivity by stepping away from email one day a week, it doesn’t replace the need to make other decisions about how you communicate.

One of the main reasons for organizations to avoid email is that it tends isolate potentially useful information in data silos. Larger corporations may have knowledge management teams to address this issue, but smaller organizations generally do not. And information needs to be discoverable regardless of the time of day and who is available.

Another reason behind trends like “no-email Fridays” is that email has great potential for misunderstandings. Email is “inherently ambiguous,” said behavioral science professor Nicholas Epley, speaking with ABC News. “There’s not as much information conveyed. The pitch of your voice, the speed with which you say something, the emotional tone that’s carried in your voice isn’t there.”

When it comes to client satisfaction, for example, email often fails to provide an essential human touch. Especially when you’re trying to resolve an issue or complaint, getting on the phone is often a better strategy.

Still, the fact remains that email is a great tool — but not in all situations. For professional services firms, email is a mainstay of routine communications with clients. For internal communications, however, there are often better ways to communicate.

It’s useful to ask yourself whether email is absolutely essential to accomplish a specific task or process. Often, these communications could be handled more effectively with other tools, such as instant messaging (IM), a social network or even a simple phone call.

Unified communications platforms like Microsoft’s Lync bring together IM, phone, video conferencing and other collaboration solutions in a single tool. This kind of interface encourages you to actively choose how you communicate, rather than always sending email by default.

Just as you shouldn’t use email for every communication, you shouldn’t dismiss it out of hand. It’s about understanding your collection of tools and choosing the right one for the job. If eliminating email in a given scenario reinforces the goal of improving communication within your organization and with your clients, it’s worth a try.

Think about communication in terms of whether other people might need to know about this information or access it in the future. If so, there are better ways to accomplish the communication. When you’re trying to make changes in how you communicate as an organization, the way to deal with that is through the culture, not technology alone.

Learn more about helping your organization leverage today’s digital workplace capabilities by contacting Portal Solutions.

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