Still using email?
As the digital revolution rolls on, the way in which we communicate continues to evolve, including the way we use email in the workplace and to communicate with clients. As email entered the workplace, the benefits were instant - quicker communication, less paperwork and easier filing (in theory!). However, the pitfalls were far less immediate.
Pitfall 1: Attitude
Just because you may check your email, doesn't mean everyone else does. Not only that, but many people filter their email, don't follow up and don't put on their 'out-of-office' creating the digital equivalent of an overloaded in-tray. I've also heard many people say "If it's important they'll phone me", so don't always rely on your email; it'll only be as effective as the person you're sending it to.
Pitfall 2: Reply-All
Something that certainly exacerbates Pitfall 1, is the never-ending headache that is "reply-all". I don't need to be copied in to a conversation between others that has nothing to do with me. This creates email fatigue, and it's little wonder so many people don't read all their emails.
Pitfall 3: The 'Wrong' email
Working in the construction industry, a problem that we've suffered from historically is people searching their inboxes and then sharing the wrong email. What do I mean? Say our clients need to forward some floor plans, they may search their inbox for the last email I sent them and then forward it, forgetting that it may have been my colleague who issued the latest drawings!
Get rid of internal emails.
We did it years ago and the team communicates far better as a result. We use a dedicated messaging system where we can talk collectively or in private; There's even room for some humour and personal chat as you need for any work team.
How do you communicate with clients?
For us, we created a dedicated web platform to run our projects. It'll be different for any given work place, but for us, this cuts down on confusion, improved communication and has saved both us and our clients time and money.
Is email dead?
Of course not, we still use it as a critical part of our working infrastructure and to send out our invoices! The key thing we've learned is how to use it more effectively in a 21st Century working environment.