Too much email is a modern-day workplace scourge. Email is now the default method of communication and its abundance is stifling office collaboration, internal communications and may even be affecting employee morale. If you find that your organisation is drowning in an electronic sea of email, then a company intranet may be the solution. In this article, we look at how five everyday work activities that are usually accomplished via email, can be achieved more quickly and easily through a company intranet.
Too Many Emails
In 2019, email users around the world topped 3.9 billion, and almost half of the world’s 7.7 billion population are an email user, says Avasam. In another recent report, Adobe Systems discovered that employees are spending more than 30 hours a week on email. Indeed, there are half a million workers that regularly check their emails from the bathroom!
All this email is not good for business, and it’s not good for employee well-being either.
It’s not good for business because a significant amount of time and productivity is being eaten up in processing the email traffic. This is time and effort that would be better directed at actually getting the job done. In addition, important messages can easily get buried underneath all that email and employee engagement can drop as well.
It’s not good for employee well-being because it affects staff morale, is distracting and is stifling communication and collaboration across the office. Often there is an expectation that staff should respond to an email immediately, even outside of normal working hours or over the weekend. Such an expectation combined with the anytime, anywhere access offered by smartphones is causing great stress and anxiety for staff who feel unable to switch off.
Office Intranets: A Better Way
There is, however, an alternative to so much email and that alternative is an office intranet. An office intranet is a central database of information that can only be accessed internally by staff. It offers the opportunity for discussion forums, document collaboration, file management and more, all in a single platform. In short, it offers employees the opportunity to work more efficiently and effectively. It has the added benefit of increasing employee engagement and well-being by improving communication and collaboration across the organisation. And happier workers are more productive workers.
Using the scenario of five commonplace work activities, we will look at how a company intranet can help reduce the amount of email in your organisation today.
1. Work Activity: Drafting A Report
Emailing drafts back and forth can get confusing very quickly, and you can soon lose track of the most up to date version. Rather than emailing multiple versions of a document across the organisation, staff can edit, comment and share files directly through the intranet. Staff will be accessing the most up to date version, and several people can work on it at the same time thereby saving staff time in merging comments and revisions into one document.
2. Work Activity: Brainstorming Ideas For A Product Or Strategy
With employees working in different teams and departments across various geographies and time zones, email is often used for brainstorming ideas, for instance, on a product or strategy. Waiting for replies via email can curtail that creative energy and so instead of emailing ideas, set up a discussion forum on the intranet. You can collaborate in real time with those colleagues that are available while others can join in at a convenient time rather than feeling compelled to drop everything and do as soon as an email appears.
3. Work activity: Sharing News And Information
All-staff newsletter emails are pretty much universal across all organisations. And a great deal of staff time is taken up in generating and coordinating the content across the organization which itself generates a lot of email traffic.
Replace the need for these types of emails with a news feed on the office intranet. Changing on a daily or weekly basis, the news feed can include both important corporate information and local or team-based messages and news items. It could also include news items about staff issues such as announcing the birth of Jane in Accounts baby girl which in turn will eliminate another whole set of all-staff emails.
4. Work Activity: Keeping Staff Informed Of Key Deadlines And Company Events
Reminding staff about regular deadlines via email is commonplace in organisations. If reports on key sales targets are due monthly, or if you need to invite staff to the annual conference, then instead of sending out an email reminder set up a calendar on the office intranet. With just a few quick clicks, company-wide calendars can provide staff with all the information they need about upcoming deadlines or important company events. Giving staff this information at the fingertips not only reduces the number of emails in inboxes, but it also means that staff will not be wasting significant amounts of time trawling through their inboxes looking for that all-important date.
5. Work Activity: Canvassing Staff Views And Opinions
Whether you’re asking staff for their views on the company’s new logo, seeking opinions on a change to policy, or simply looking for ideas on the Christmas party, sending out an email is standard practice. It’s almost impossible, however, to keep track of such views and opinions via email. Instead, make it easier for the organisation and staff by creating a poll or survey on the office intranet. Employees can give their opinion in a few easy clicks and can see and share the results in real time. Visibly seeking and acting on employees’ views in this way also helps to boost the sense of value and engagement staff feel from the organisation which in turn will boost productivity.
Improve Your Bottom Line
Reducing the amount of email in the office makes good business sense. The Mckinsey Social Economy Report found that by using social technologies such as intranets, companies can increase the productivity of workers by up to 25%.
Just imagine for a moment what you could achieve with all that extra time you will save if you reduced the number of emails. Times that by the number of employees in your organisation and you will begin to get a sense of what an impact it could have on your bottom line.
The fact is that email is not the most effective tool for communication and collaboration. By looking at these five common workplace scenarios, we’ve been able to demonstrate that a company intranet can very quickly reduce the volume of emails while also having other business benefits including improved employee engagement and well-being.
Is email getting out of hand in your organisation? Please share your stories in the comments section below or contact the team at MyHub to see how an office intranet can help alleviate the problem and improve your bottom line.