Email is not the only way to communicate with others

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 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.

Reasons for avoiding email with others

1. Avoid emails for important messages

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.

2. Avoid emails for sending complicated messages

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.

3. Avoid emails when the time is short

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.

4. Avoid emails for long messages

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.

5. Avoid emails to share sensitive information

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.

6. Don’t send emails to seek opinions

When you want to receive opinions or feedback from a large number of teammates, don’t choose emails. You should send online surveys rather than emails. Otherwise, you will simply be deluged with reply 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 - the workplace essentials app contains

1. Voice calling and screen sharing

When you need to get something done in the next one hour and if it requires a lot of explaining, you should choose voice calling with screen sharing. Normally for voice calling and screen sharing, you will be using two different apps.

But when you are using Clariti, you can chat, make a call and share your screen at the same time, all in one app. Not only that, you can also take notes during the call. Clariti is one of the best free voice calling apps that lets you make and receive unlimited audio calls. You don’t have to install an additional app.

You can call anybody or set up group calls without generating any meeting id or passcode. You don’t have to dial in any number, and you can use your desktop speaker and mic for the calls. You will be notified of any missed calls through the ‘Missed Call’ indicator. Along with the calls, there is an option to add call notes during or after the call and other participants can view each other’s call notes.

2. Have flexible group chats

If you have a quick question for which you want an answer from teammates, then you should choose group chats. When you use applications like Slack or Microsoft Teams you have to create channels to group chat with others.

Channels are rigid because once a channel is created and group members are added, all the group members see all the channel chats whether it pertains to them or not. As a result, users will be overwhelmed reading a constant stream of messages. In Clariti, you can start a group chat and add members.

However, unlike channels Clariti group chats are not rigid. Group members can be added and removed on the fly. Consequently, group members only get chat alerts on issues that are important to them.

3. Share emails and chat conversations

Most of the time, when you receive an email, you will end up forwarding the mail to your colleagues and teammates. This will only result in multiple copies of the same email in everybody’s inbox.

Whenever possible share an email with other users instantly without forwarding or copy/pasting the email contents in a chat. With a wide array of instant messaging tools in the market today, email is not the only way to communicate with others. When you use applications like Slack, and Microsoft Teams that are channel-based you cannot share chats with other team members without copy/pasting them.

The channel members are fixed, and new members cannot be added or removed on an ad hoc basis. Clariti provides a powerful feature to share chats and emails with other Clariti contacts instantly. The share feature avoids the need to copy/paste the chat & email contents. Sharing is much more secure and faster than copy/pasting. Sharing is much more secure and faster than forwarding and avoids unnecessarily overloading the email box.

4. Consolidate your emails

It may not be possible to communicate to all stakeholders through just one email id, but you should choose and use a communication system that helps you to consolidate multiple email accounts in one place.

Having all inboxes in one place is a great way to combat email overload and save the hassle of having to check multiple inboxes several times a day just to make sure you don’t miss an email. Moreover, you don’t have to remember many passwords to check emails.

5. Create context-based to-dos

There are many free to-do apps in the market like Microsoft To-Do, Google Tasks, Todoist, TickTick etc. In these apps when a to-do is triggered, you will have to search in multiple places to find all the information related to that to-do.

Clariti is one of the best free to-do apps that lets you create to-dos that are linked to your emails, chats and documents related to that to do. Later when the to do is triggered, all you have to do is look at the items related to that to do in one place to understand why the to do was created in the first place.

Instead of trying to replace emails with chats, combine them

No, you may not really succeed in doing that. A few years back, Slack tried to replace emails with chat for team communications. While it succeeded in reducing the number of emails, Slack users found themselves bombarded with needless chat notifications and stuck in endless group chats.

Instead of replacing emails with chats, Clariti has combined email with chat for team communications. While Clariti doesn’t discourage people from using emails, it has made it unnecessary when communicating with other Clariti users.

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 content in chats.

Besides Clariti maintains the connection between the original email and subsequent chat thereby making it easy to reference the context of the discussion at any time. So, in Clariti, both email and chat can co-exist without conflict or redundancy.

Unified communication holds the key

Normally for email, chat, voice calling and screen sharing you will require different apps. Using different apps for multi-mode communications will create communication silos. Later, if you want to refer to a specific conversation or file, you will have to search in multiple places and remember all the information in memory to visualize the big picture. Team members will end up spending most of their time searching for information, rather than doing productive work

Clariti is a unified communication system that lets you take full advantage of all the benefits that connected apps offer. Clariti makes you realize that email is not the only way to communicate.

For example, if there is an issue that requires a quicker response, you can switch to chat or voice call with just a click of a button; you don’t’ have to switch devices, applications or jump to any other rooms or channels. Clariti brings all your emails, chats, calls, shared files, social feeds, and tasks in a single app and links related conversations in a Discussions.

All the subsequent related conversations are automatically stored in that Discussion. A few months down the line, when you want to go back and refer to a prior conversation or file, all you must do is remember the context and look inside the relevant Discussion. In Clariti, no matter what was discussed and when it was discussed, you will be able to see the big picture in one view.

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