Email is easy and it helps us to share information with our colleagues and also leaves a digital trail for future reference. Though email will continue to dominate the world, some of us have become “email addicts” – using email for almost everything. Though it appears to be harmless at the outset, emails have their own shortcomings.
Overusing email can result in miscommunications, wrong decisions and even broken relationships. For businesses, time is money. Sending a poorly written email and spending your valuable time clarifying that email can cost you both time and money.
Even if poor email communication wastes about 10 minutes on average, that is $4.83 (assuming the average hourly wage in the US is $29 per hour) in pay per employee. Thus, email miscommunication could cost hours of productive work and thousands of dollars. With more employees and miscommunication, the cost could still go up. Apart from miscommunication, 83% of organizations have suffered data breaches via email in the last 12 months.
Though email is widely accepted as the most formal way to communicate with others – both colleagues and clients – more often, email is considered as least effective and sometimes laziest. As workplaces evolve by the day, it is time to realize that email is not the only way to communicate with others. There are certain situations where sending emails is not recommended.
In 2020, approximately 306 billion e-mails were sent and received every day worldwide. This figure is projected to increase to over 376 billion daily e-mails in 2025. When you share a piece of important information through email, there are chances that it will get lost in the deluge, accidentally deleted, land up in the spam folder or simply be forgotten.
Don’t choose emails when you want to discuss complicated matters for the first time. For any complex matter, the recipient would want further clarifications, which would result in back-and-forth emails, filling your inbox.
This will get compounded when there are multiple recipients. Email is great for documenting key decisions, action items etc, but when it comes to discussions, it does a poor job. When you think the matter needs a linear path choose emails, otherwise don’t.
When you want to discuss something and the time is short, don’t choose emails. Sending emails for urgent matters could turn out to be a risky thing to do. People may be out of station, driving or digitally disconnected from all notifications by muting themselves.
When you send emails, everybody takes their own time to respond. In such cases, email is not the only way to communicate. For matters that need an immediate response, choose instant messaging chats or phone calls.
When you want to send something that runs into multiple paragraphs there are chances that it might not even be read. Emails should be short and brief. If at all you want to communicate something that is too lengthy then consider attachment or publish the content and provide the link.
Avoid emails when you want to send any personal and private messages to your colleagues. Sensitive information that is shared through emails can easily be saved and forwarded to other unintended recipients. Don’t forget that some people have the habit of hitting “reply all” whenever they reply to any message.
Work email should be used to share work communication only. To share your personal and private messages, there are plenty of other messaging services that you can use like Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.
When you want to receive opinions or feedback from many teammates, don’t choose emails. You should send online surveys rather than emails. Otherwise, you will simply be deluged with replies to emails, and you will end up wading through the emails for the rest of your workweek. So, avoid emails to target a large group of people.
But work is not just limited to emails. It also includes chats, shared documents, phone calls and to-dos. Users should know when and how to use other forms of communication. Consider using Clariti, the workplace essentials app that includes all forms of communication including email.
Clariti is a unified communication tool that helps users to avoid the confusion and inefficiency of disconnected chat threads and standalone emails. By combining email and chat into a single platform, Clariti provides a comprehensive solution that enables users to keep every conversation focused, organized, and easily accessible.
Clariti’s unique approach is based on subjects, which are like folders that contain all related communication related to a specific topic. All emails and chats related to the same subject are automatically grouped together, allowing users to easily filter, search, and organize their communication history. This subject-based organization also ensures that conversations stay on track, and nothing gets lost in a sea of unrelated messages.
Another important benefit of Clariti is that it eliminates the need for users to switch between multiple tools or platforms. Instead, everything is accessible in one place, reducing the potential for miscommunication or misunderstandings. This streamlines the communication process, allowing team members to collaborate more effectively and get things done more quickly.
In addition to its subject-based approach, Clariti also offers powerful search capabilities that enable users to find specific messages, attachments, or conversations with ease. This can be especially useful for busy professionals who need to access important information quickly and efficiently.
Overall, Clariti’s unique combination of subject-based organization, streamlined communication, and powerful search capabilities makes it an ideal choice for teams and individuals who want to stay focused, productive, and organized in today’s fast-paced digital landscape.
Email can also be easily misconstrued; a casual comment can come across as rude or insensitive when it’s not read in the proper tone. And once you hit “send,” you can’t take it back. For these reasons, email is not always the best way to communicate.
Face-to-face conversation is often best for delicate or personal matters. This allows you to gauge the other person’s reaction and ensure that your message is being interpreted correctly. Similarly, telephone calls can be a good way to quickly resolve simple issues without the back-and-forth of email chains.
Tools like Clariti may replace emails. Clariti has combined email with chat for team communications. When you receive an email in Clariti, you can start chatting from the same email with other Clariti participants. This reduces email forwards and time wasted in copy pasting contents in chats.
Some of the examples of miscommunication are sending an email to the wrong recipient, not being clear in the email subject line, misunderstanding the tone of an email, forgetting to include important information, not responding to an email in a timely manner.
There are several reasons why people may choose to avoid using email to communicate with others: Lack of immediacy, misinterpretation, spam and clutter, security concerns, lack of personal touch.