Why business communication apps will replace emails
Email has been in existence for decades and is being used as a collaboration tool by millions of individuals & companies. However, a lot of us are getting dissatisfied with this outdated tool: it is slow, adds to the chaos, and leads to frustration and lost productivity.
McKinsey Global Institute estimates that an average employee spends 28% of his work week (13 hours a week) just checking & responding to email. Frustration with email is one of the top complaints at the workplace. This is why, increasingly, companies are looking for alternatives to email, and other means to communicate at the workplace.
Identifying and bridging the communication gap
Businesses have evolved, and so have the technology platforms used to accommodate them. Today, businesses and consumers seek communication tools that allow for better collaboration and information sharing. The new generation communication software act like a private internal social network, helping people communicate more efficiently with friends, co-workers and customers. Email certainly has its strengths. However, for communicating with a group or team, better options exist for facilitating group collaboration, organizing conversations and topics, quickly accessing files, and adding or removing people from conversations.
Employees are no longer bound to the office. More and more of them work from remote locations, either their homes or the field. For these employees, email isn’t enough as they don’t always have a laptop in front of them. Also, they feel disconnected from their team members. In fact, 55% of virtual workers surveyed by Interact in 2015 said their bosses communicated with them almost exclusively by email, yet 69% said the level of communication that could actually keep them engaged in their work was lacking. What’s more, 50% said they didn’t feel like a part of the team. To provide remote workers the information they need to complete their work, to keep them engaged, and to make them feel like they belong, a more immediate form of communication is necessary. Here is where enterprise chat apps come in.
These are more than simple IM tools; they come full of features such as to-do lists, polls, reminders, video conferencing, file sharing & more. They are also available across platforms and devices and can be used on the go. Gone are the days when you’d have to run around to someone’s desk for a document, or send an email and wait hours for a reply. Enterprise messaging allows you to do all of that and much more from the comfort of your desk, car, or home.
Employees using these apps can check in with their peers or manager in seconds, from anywhere. They can send and receive documents, network with their colleagues, organize virtual meetings, seek opinions of their team members and much more. A survey conducted in March 2016 by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that workers who said their employers used mobile technology and communication well described themselves as more productive, creative, and satisfied with their jobs.
Challenges of using email as the primary communication tool
Email is good for short term communication where an immediate response is needed. However, when collaborating on a project, sending emails back and forth does not really make sense, does it?
Organizing your emails is a time-consuming job. Other challenges include going through long email threads with multiple topics & recipients, handing over a project to new team members who need access to past emails and re-focusing after reading one email and then going to another topic. A study in 2007 revealed that a group of Microsoft workers took, on average, 15 minutes to return to serious mental tasks after responding to incoming email or instant messages.
The changing landscape of workplace communication
Today’s collaboration technologies ensure that conversations are organized right from the start. They encourage sharing of ideas through efficient networking, no matter where you are. Such apps provide conversation platforms which allow teams and groups to communicate in a smarter, better way.
These new collaboration technologies won’t replace email entirely, but will complement it. Both individuals & businesses will continue to shape and adopt communications technologies to embrace a more natural, flowing and easily organized way of communicating. With the rise of a young workforce, this trend will only continue to grow, making these new software and applications mainstream. These apps are here to stay, and organizations that make the switch as early as possible stand to benefit in incredible ways.