If you’re still using email for internal communication then I have some news for you: It’s killing your team’s productivity.
According to Front, people spend around 4 hours per day on email at work, which equates to 43 days per year. Add meetings and unexpected problems into the mix then you’ve very little time to get your work done.
Important emails go missing, buried under spam and never actioned AND you’ve lost valuable time in the process.
Emails command our constant attention. Whether we’re sending a memo to one of our co-workers, replying to an email from our boss with a one-word answer or passively reading a humongous email chain from head office, we’re regularly sucked into the quagmire of taking an age just to communicate.
According to research, 23% of employees point to email as the primary productivity blocker in the workplace.
So is Email on its Way Out? No Way.
According to recent statistics, active email accounts are expected to hit 5.6 billion by the end of 2019, so if you’re reaching out to other companies or formally contacting government bodies then email is your best call.
It’s also a valuable and direct medium for marketing, with numbers as high as 83% of Business-to-Business companies using e-newsletters as an integral part of their content marketing programme.
So Why is Communicating via Email Hurting Team Productivity?
Think of the last time you had to find a file or an important piece of information from an email.
Sifting through spam and folders and navigating an unhelpful search function until you eventually find what you were looking for. It’s just not up to scratch when communicating and sharing information internally.
Most businesses’ productivity sinks and communication suffers because they’re using email the wrong way and for the wrong purposes.
In short, they’re still using email for everything!
When communicating with your colleagues, sharing files and using email as a discussion forum—it’s the wrong tool for the job.
Email is not efficient when you’re exchanging ideas or information with your team in-house, when time is of the essence—with the average employee receiving 55 work-related emails per day. That’s a lot of distractions when you’re trying to get work done.
More time is being spent on emails, less on communicating and your most important emails are buried alive under mountains of junk.
Downsides of Using Email to Communicate with Colleagues
Emails Lead to More Emails
If someone asks you a question over email, you’re going to answer them by email causing an endless chain. If you’re a manager it can be even worse.
That means you’ll spend all your time replying to emails and scrolling through your inbox to find answers to questions that you need to forward on to someone else.
By the time you get around to your work again, you’ll have to spend 30 minutes refocusing to get back into the zone.
If you find that your inbox is home to countless newsletters that you never read, use apps like Unroll.me to unsubscribe from what you don’t need.
Wasting Time Writing an Email
A productivity killer is task switching from what you’re doing to answering emails.
Cast your mind to the last email you wrote. It could have been a reply to a simple question or even an acknowledgement that you received the email. Your attention is now diverted from your work.
This could all be done using a team communication app which keeps questions and answers to the essentials.
Slows Up the Decision-Making Process when Waiting for an Email
Email is detached from most work processes.
The communication process must be as seamless as possible when employees are seeking answers from management to increase productivity.
Email is Old School
Email isn’t a communication tool for the modern world so try not to force it to be.
Emailing different versions of the same document between colleagues can be a disaster waiting to happen—it’s too difficult to keep track of which one is the most up-to-date and it’s an inefficient way of sharing files that require collaboration.
Worryingly, according to Techanalysis Research carried out, email is still the highest method of communication with co-workers at 38%, with communication with outside contacts, commanding 33.7% of usage.
To increase your team’s productivity you’ll need to move your communication methods into the 21st Century.
Does Email Stress you Out?
Recent research from the University of British Columbia found that when people were restricted to checking their email just 3 times a day their stress levels significantly reduced.
Employees with limitations imposed upon checking their emails find they are more able to complete their work.
Jocelyn Glei’s 3 Tips on How to Tackle Your Email
Author of ‘Unsubscribe,’ Jocelyn Glei, has written three ways to improve your emailing habits so you spend less time on your email and more time getting stuff done.
1: Check Your Email in ‘Batches’
Set aside batches of time every day to check your email so it doesn’t command your attention every 10 minutes. Glei cites studies carried out by UC Irvine that states that people who batch their emails are more productive, effective in their work and also less stressed. Tim Ferris only checks his email twice a day!
2: Set Up Email Notifications for Specific Important People
Whether it’s your boss or your best friend at work, we all have people who we have to reply to quicker than others. Set up email notifications to alert you when the people on your list have emailed you. This means you can answer the most important emails and ignore the rest, allowing you time to focus on your work.
3: Use the 80/20 (Pareto) Principle
This is for people who suffer from email overload. You’ve probably heard of this rule before—it means that 80% of important info comes from 20% of your actual emails. The low importance emails, the chain replies and promotional emails from that free trial you had all make up the other 80% of the junk that perpetually clutters your inbox.
Read more time management strategies here.
What Can You Use Instead of Email to Communicate?
As of 2019 email is still the most popular tool in the workplace and work can seem impossible without it. To break the monopoly that email has on your team’s communication you need to be prepared to use a designated team communication tool.
Sending a chat message is clearer than email.
You get to the point quicker, and avoid having to scroll through meaningless footers to find what you’re looking.
By using a team communication tool there’s no need to pick up the phone to communicate with another team member, you also have an electronic paper trail if you need one!
Productivity is reliant upon sound communication. So if you want to start increasing your productivity you have to improve your communication.
Chatting with emojis, gifs and videos make communication easier.
You can spend less time thinking about what to write and get rid of the formality that hampers email communication.
Using a team communication tool keeps everyone in the loop and is easier to navigate than a messy email chain. Messaging allows you to chat with one person, team or a group– so no more CC and BCC!
Keep your communication in one place.
Are you ready to ditch email for your internal communication? We have you covered.
Tameday can work in sync with your email, allowing you to forward emails from your own inbox to your own private Tameday inbox. You can then action and delegate your important emails, converting them to to-dos, discussions and projects.
Tameday lets you communicate between different departments within your organisation. Get the answer you need without the rigmarole of email.
Why not centralise all of your work, projects and communication in one place with a Tameday 30-day free trial?