Our day to day lives have fast become reliant on emails whether its a last minute response to the boss on the commute home, hitting ‘reply all’ on the actions from a meeting or responding to a friend’s holiday suggestion for the coming summer.
Has society lost the ability to communicate without the need to use a keyboard?
Take a moment to sit back, look around you in the office and think to yourself how many email conversations could have been saved if you just picked up the phone or walked across to see someone in person.
Whilst we understand there is a place for emails we took the opportunity on #NoEmailDay to share our tips on what you can do to be smarter with your day to day communications.
Consolidation - instead of rushing to reply and clear all those unread emails why not save them up so you only need to send one reply back. This will help reduce the amount of emails you’ll get back and also helps you to track actions as they are in one trail.
Plan - no email should require an instant reply otherwise the sender would have called. So block out a set time in your diary to check and respond to emails. Turn off desktop notifications so you aren’t distracted from other projects.
Call then email - Let’s not hide behind our inbox but try calling in the first instance. Often a phone call can be quicker than typing out an email and then reviewing to make sure the recipient understands all your points.
There are also benefits for your customers and clients. A quick call can resolve a matter whilst adding a personal touch to the customer experience. And one less email to send and receive!
It might be hard for your organisation to go cold turkey on email withdrawal but why not plan a day where everyone sets an out of office message and allocates two or three 20-minute time slots to check for emergency emails.
Collaboration is key
Published in the Harvard Business Review is the story of Atos CEO Thierry Breton who pushed for a ‘zero-email’ company believing that the email traffic from the organisation’s 70,000 workers created bottlenecks in productivity.
Atos introduced a collaborative platform allowing employees to choose when to engage in discussions with colleagues with files and message threads all located in one location. The results were extraordinary. Email traffic was reduced by 60% and the organisation’s operating margin and share earnings rose, whilst administrative costs declined. All benefits tracked back to email reduction.
Take the lead
#NoEmailDay can be more than just a social media campaign. Take the opportunity to change your internal communication practices. Start small by running campaigns on ‘email etiquette’ or ’20% off emails’ where staff are encouraged to reduce their email traffic. Run a inter-department competition.
Even if everyone in your workplace took a few seconds before sending an email to check if the recipients are all needed or the message is clear to understand you would be taking the first steps to improving your internal communications.