Recent McKinsey’s research indicates that some office based workers spend 28% of each day (13 hours a week) dealing with e-mails. (McKinsey Quarterly, Nov 12)
The email Inbox has served as a task list for the past two decades. Its folders can be used as a filing system.
In some cases huge amounts of company knowledge are locked up in emails and inaccessible to those who might benefit from that information.
Email is an inadequate repository, difficult to search and slow to cross reference. Online programs such as Evernote provide the option to extract, tag and annotate the contents of email, but it is personal solution with security issues for many businesses, as the snippets you extract are stored in the cloud.
But we do need something better than standard email. And why? Productivity increases due to technology in the workplace have slowed down in the past few years.
McKinsey estimates that 25 to 30 percent of time spent on email could be saved if the main channel for communication was moved to a social platform. Employees could locate knowledge faster and reduce unneeded email distribution and CCing.
Attachments could also be better managed and more accessible.
With a social network key questions can be easily accessed and commented on by all employees.
Collaboration is easier when you are using a social media tool. Poor collaboration is responsible for poor project delivery and project failure.
One study published in the Academy of Management Journal (Subramanium and Youndt) indicated that companies with better collaborative management achieve superior financial performance.
Academic research also shows that innovation is generated more rapidly when collaboration is a central feature of the teams studied.
Email on its own isn’t good enough any more, particularly if an organisation is looking for competitive advantage. The Facebook generation is part of the workforce and a new style of collaborative working is on its way.
And for all those blue collar workers and frontline staff without an email account, a social network will provide access to company information and a way to contribute.
Gartner, stated in 2012 that; “Social networking services will replace email as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20% of businesses by 2014".
What do you think?