Imagine you’re attending a seminar and the keynote asks, “How many of us are sick of getting hundreds of emails?” You look around the room and see at least three quarters of the room would have stood up. Those that are still sitting? They are the ones who are spending almost their entire day composing and replying emails. Now, when you think of all those billions of emails (yes, billions) sent every year, there are really only a few that you absolutely need to have. The others are just times suckers.
Emails are sucking up the time that you could be using on other, more important tasks during your day. It feels so good to get rid of white noise that on occasion we actually miss the important stuff. (Sorry, boss, I accidentally deleted your email about that important project because it was buried beneath a bunch of emails.)
As we’ve discussed before, Alexandra Samuel recently reported in the Wall Street Journal that 40 percent of white collar workers spend at least three hours each weekday sifting through emails. But it’s not about getting rid of email entirely — it’s about learning to use it smarter. This channel of communication hasn’t lost all of its effect…yet. And, it’s certainly helpful as a notification center for when a new task assigned to you in the service desk or for any other notification that may come your way from a tool.
But as for all of those other conversations? It’s okay to say RIP to email. And, here are just a few situations in which email is just wasting your time.
Real Time Discussions
Change can be scary, and the scary thing about technology is that it changes so quickly. With that being said, technology is inevitable, and while this doesn’t mean that you have to ditch your business and start a new one building software, it does mean that your business needs to be ready to enter the digital age, regardless of industry.
For anyone who grew up with instant messenger apps (remember how long it took you to put together that AOL AIM away message?), the beauty of chat-like application is that it’s a real-time conversation without the long email chain. And, as our recent blog on Slack at Samanage has shown, even those who didn’t grow up with instant messenger in their teen years are taking advantage of this real-time communication. Why sit there waiting for a reply? Jump into a tool like Slack, double check that the person is available, and talk to your colleague about a pressing issue. Many of these apps allow you to share files and develop a searchable thread (that is WAY easier to navigate than going through email folders or hoping that one email didn’t end up in the trash).
There Can Be a Channel for That
If you’re a global organization, it can be difficult to keep everyone on the same page, especially when email chains spiral out of control. Case in point: Here at Samanage, we draw upon the knowledge of all of our employees across all of our locations to create content, develop sales pitches, and resolve technical issues. With global sales teams, engineers in Israel, and technical services in the US, understanding what is happening throughout each project in real time allows us to be continuously on the same page company-wide let through the usage of real-time communication avenues. It almost feels like we’re all connected at all times.
Rather than awaiting a massive flow of emails, taking advantage of the automation aspect of tools, such as Slack, means projects updates are hands off. If there is a new piece of marketing, it’s pulled into the proper channel for everyone to see, if approval is needed to a card in Trello, it’s right there in the channel for the right parties to see and be notified on.
Would You Even Miss it?
You know why it feels so good to get a letter in the mail? Because someone took the time out to type it (bonus points for a handwritten note), put it in an envelope, buy stamps, and put it in the mail. Email can be the new handwritten note, but only if we stop bombarding each other with unnecessary emails and save it for the important stuff. Don’t let your email end up in the spam or trash — get your information across in a smarter, more automated way, with far more certainty that it will be seen.