Happy New Year!
Earlier this week, I read an interesting article exploring whether 2016 will finally see the end of the office email.
The idea of banning email for work has been floating around for a few years now, but several organisations have now begun to bite the bullet and move to alternative forms of communication.
I have to admit the idea is certainly appealing (not least when I returned from holiday at the end of last year to find close to 2,000 emails waiting for me in my inbox!)
As technology means employees are increasingly always switched on, the temptation to check for email or read messages as soon as they ping into their inbox can adversely impact productivity. We all know the theory about only checking email at designated times during the day, but, in practice, how many of us actually achieve this?
But what would the demise of email as we know it mean for workplace communications strategies? There is no denying that email is a quick and easy way of sending messages to a mass audience with the minimum of effort.
But in this era of information overload and ‘death by email’, how many truly engage with email messages as intended by the sender? Are there more effective ways of ensuring employees sit up and take notice? Is it time for employers to consider other communication methods, such as Whatsapp or other messenger apps or online channels?
Or should employers be considering quirkier methods altogether as a means of grabbing employees’ attention, even if it’s only in the first instance before returning to more traditional methods to communicate the details?
On days when my inbox runs away from me, the idea of not having to deal with email is certainly tempting. Yet given how entrenched it has become, not only in the business world but also in everyday life, for alternatives to become the norm, a significant shift in culture and mindset may be needed.