• Make the Most Out of Your Workday with Less E-Mail

    Do you use email in the best way possible? Are you taking advantage of collaboration platforms? You can make more out of your workday by using both better, and thereby improve your productivity.

    Web-based email (so-called webmail) has been with us since the early 90s. Free, easy to use, and delivered instantly  – email caused a revolution in the 90s! Instant messaging and social networking platforms then made communication more open, instant, and versatile. Remember MSN Messenger? AIM? MySpace? Suddenly we could have conversations with our peers, reply instantly to each other, and easily sneek a peek into each other’s lives. It brought real-life conversations online and closer than email ever had.

     

     

    However, as technology is constantly evolving, email is increasingly perceived as a distraction. Studies show that an average employee spends 40% of their working week dealing with emails that add no value to the business. Email is therefore used less and less as the main communication method for businesses, let alone personal communication. Think about the tools we now use to communicate: instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Viber and WeChat or social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and the soon-to-be-released open collaboration platform Bisner.

     

    The rise of collaboration and communication platforms:

    A more productive way to work

     

    It is argued that social technologies like collaboration and communication platforms improve productivity by 25-30%, adding up to 8% value-added time. Think what impact this could have on your average workweek! That is over three hours of time that would have otherwise been wasted.

     

    Does that mean email should be ignored? Not just yet. Rather than eliminating your use of email, we suggest making better use of email alongside collaboration platforms.

     

    Only use email for formal and non-urgent messages

     

    Email is still a great tool for non-urgent messages and formal communication. Avoid conversations where you constantly send emails back and forth – you’re better off calling each other! The same goes for urgent problems. Ensure an immediate response by dropping someone a line!

     

    Use a collaboration platform

     

    The greatest advantage of collaboration platforms is the ability to do a lot in one place. You can upload your files to share amongst your team and chat with your colleagues directly. Some platforms also allow you to delegate tasks to other team members, facilitating a clear and transparent channel of communication.

     

    Tip: For better productivity at work, stick to ONE tool to communicate with your team.

     

    Set specific times to check your email

     

    Only check your emails at set times of the day! A good schedule is to check your email first thing in the morning when you arrive at work – getting it out of your way. Check it once more after lunch and one last time before leaving work. You can then respond to urgent emails, update your to-do list with new tasks, and be aware of important information that could impact your work.

     

    Only have your email open when you are checking it

     

    If you use an email client, endless notifications about incoming emails will undoubtedly distract you from what you’re actually working on. Eliminate the temptation to click on each notification by turning them off or close your email client completely until it is time for you to check your emails.

     

     

    Sources

    http://blogs.atlassian.com/2012/08/time-wasting-at-work-infographic.
    http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/the_social_economy

     

     

     

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