For quite some time Luis Suarez has been championing a Life Without Email, not just on his blog, but (amongst other places) in the Google+ community of the same name.
Last month, he announced a new community in Slack around the same topic. Why two communities? As he brings out in that G+ post, while the G+ community is very much a Community of Interest, the Slack team is for those people who are both interested and driving initiatives (large or small) to reduce the inefficiencies we all suffer through an over-use of email – a Community of Practice.
Luis Suarez (@elsua), curator of the Life without eMail G+ community, has posted a Vodcast co-presented with Claire Burge (@claireburge) Here’s the full video:
30) Here are my notes on the highlights of what Luis and Claire think is wrong with email:
“Email creates a dumber workforce” (3:02), because (4:02) the structure of email forces an obsession with emptying the inbox without action.
Email is a selfish tool (4:59) – centred around individual, not team or company goals (because you cannot see the impact of your email on the other person’s workload).
No tool is all good or all bad, so following on from “Email – what’s wrong with it?“, here are some of the reasons why it is useful:
Email is almost ubiquitous … has been around a long time, so almost everyone (in a work world) knows how to use it (or thinks
… allows asynchronous communication, especially with offline workers (actually so do other technologies)
Many have written on the issues that email causes, here are some highlights:
Email soaks up time – e.g. McKinsey in 2012 reckoned 30% of average office worker’s week was spent reading and answering email … makes people feel they are being productive (when they are not) … locks up information in silos – a lot of company knowledge creation is carried out in email threads visible only to those involved, and almost impossible for anyone else to discover, leading to duplication of work, … is exclusive, with conversations only open to those who the sender sought to include which can lead to lower quality work, because the conversation does not necessarily include the right people and which completely prevents … is intrusive – when you send me an email you force my attention to your issue, interrupting my thoughts