Maybe we are looking at this all wrong… Businesses are downsizing because they can’t afford the employee salaries and extras. Don’t they realize that most workers who rely on e-mail to communicate could be sucking the business dry with unintentional productivity theft?
Sometimes it is not just cost saving. Rather, if you can reclaim the productivity that has been lost because of a near pandemic of productivity sapping e-mail habits throughout organizations, you’ll see it in your bottom line.
Consider the impact of getting 10%-20% more out of each worker? Now THAT’S what will re-energize the economy. See our prior posts for how to make this all work…
I am always amazed when I see someone composing a very detailed and complex e-mail on a subject that would be much more appropriately discussed. Are people hiding behind e-mail? Are they trying to avoid confrontation?
My rule of thumb is that if it will take you longer to type out your e-mail, than it will to explain the issue, pick up the phone, get up and visit the person — explain the situation, and if a record is needed, summarize it later by e-mail. In the long run, it will take you less time, and bring you better results.
Just my two cents!
Some well known, large companies have declared Fridays as the day when email may NOT be used. Its intention is to force dialogue.
When I think about companies declaring “No E-mail Fridays” it affirmed for me one of the biggest misuses or misunderstandings about email is that people actually think it can replace dialogue!
E-mail is not dialogue. We can’t read the recipient’s understanding or body language. We can’t see whether they agree with us or not. We can’t have a group discussion or brainstorm an idea. In the end, many times, emailers spend more overall time fixing a misread or misunderstood e-mail, trying to collect multiple opinions shared via e-mail, or settling down emotional or angry recipients.
It is a sad consequence that companies are having to institute actual programs like “no email Fridays” to force people to dialogue. It is symptomatic of the growing trend of people relying too heavily on e-mail for ALL their communications.
While email free days are a great way bring home to workers the benefit of interpersonal communications, this shouldn’t be a one day thing.
Companies need to start creating a culture on how it handles e-mail. It’s needs to be seen as a tool for the efficient sharing and exchange of impersonal information. And as soon as we determine that dialogue is needed, employees need to pick up the phone, call a meeting, or make a visit. In short, anything benefitting from dialogue should be done with lips rather than fingers—EVERY day of the week—not just Fridays.