In an attempt to reduce email overload, increasingly organisations are banning using email for internal communications. But is this really the solution or is it a sledge hammer to crack a nut? For some the ban is absolute and others it is on specific days. The most high profile being Atos. Others include Hatton Housing and Rarely Impossible ( a small Dorset-based digital media company). Those adopting this path have turned to alternative platforms such as instant messaging, social media-based chat environments. By and large too the companies have all been small to medium sized and based in one office. The exception is Atos but they are developing a dedicated internal communications platform.
Responses have been mixed, some have seen a genuine improvement in people’s performance whilst others have found drawbacks. Not least, employees are now just faced with another set of digital distraction.
There is no doubting that email overload and misuse is one of the biggest causes of stress and lower productivity, corporate email overload is often the symptom of deeper problems. Reducing email overload and generating genuine improvements in communications and performance is really about setting the right management and business culture. Then one can start to look at how email and the other multitude of social media platforms can be used.
Currently with so much uncertainty over Brexit, it is not surprising that many people’s inboxes are fuller than ever with unnecessary chatter. It would not therefore be unexpected if more business executives jumped on the ‘ban all internal email’ band wagon. However, without careful consideration as to what is really causing the email overload, banning all internal email might just be a step backwards.