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Is Office Email Going the Way of Snail Mail?

Posted December 06, 2011 1:52 PM by LakeGrl

I ran across this article predicting the end of office email.

I find email, as clogged as it is with junk, a nice way to get into the work mode and find out what is going on. As I sip my coffee, I browse through the inbox and get a sense of satisfaction as I delete the junk mail.

Is this the way you start your day, deleting the mounting number of junk emails? Filtering through the nonsense emails to find something you really need to know. Are instant-messaging tools and Facebook-style pages really the best way to replace the office email black hole? What ever happened to face to face? Of course many of us work remotely now, so face to face is not always possible, but do you really want to be interrupted by instant-messaging while you are hard at work on a project?

If IM and Facebook are the new trend, I guess I will have to adapt. What is the trend in your workplace?

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#1

Re: Is Office Email Going the Way of Snail Mail?

12/07/2011 3:18 AM

Good job, too. The medium has become the message. E-mail is so often used as a cover-my-ar$e tool. People forget that, just because it has been sent doesn't mean it has been received, and doesn't mean it has been understood.

"Did you get my e-mail?" What nonsense!

What about a radical new concept? It's called talking to people.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Is Office Email Going the Way of Snail Mail?

12/07/2011 4:16 AM

I find to the contrary...there is too much denial with purely verbal communication.

The CYA scenario cuts both ways.."You never said that"; "that's not what I understood"; "I thought you meant"; "I was under stress" etc ..

The written word allows time for the reader to reflect on the message, and query understanding if necessary via return email. In MsOutlook, there is a facility to request a silent 'read receipt' so that you know when your mail has been read.

Yes it is onerous to type things up all the time, but it also establishes a record of events that brooks no argument.

What would the daily grind be like without the occasional email joke ? A good chuckle is a good stress reliever..

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#9
In reply to #2

Re: Is Office Email Going the Way of Snail Mail?

12/07/2011 10:06 AM

Amen! I agree entirely. Phone calls and face to face discussions are nice, but they are worthless without written documentation of what was said. Also, even when I do plan to have the conversation face to face, I often send an email first to introduce the topic. This allows the other person time to think about it and perhaps gather relevant information, rather than being blind-sided.

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#3

Re: Is Office Email Going the Way of Snail Mail?

12/07/2011 4:47 AM

Something that costs very little is often worth very little...

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#4

Re: Is Office Email Going the Way of Snail Mail?

12/07/2011 6:19 AM

I totally disagree. True, it's full of junk. However, I find it very handy to be able to document exactly what I want to say before hitting the send button, and I often refer to old emails to recall details which I might have forgotten.

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#5

Re: Is Office Email Going the Way of Snail Mail?

12/07/2011 7:52 AM

Thanks to 'Yahoo" it seems like it's doing a good job of moving spam to a side folder which can be discarded after scaned and that entering into the main mailbox can be likewise deleted and unsubcribed..It takes a little time but when you consider the USPS version you go broke delivering spam that left in the trash can or by the mailbox on a rual route..

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#6

Re: Is Office Email Going the Way of Snail Mail?

12/07/2011 8:46 AM

We still use email, and will for the foreseeable future. Email provides a good way to handle documents and drawings that are much too large to be seen on a phone, and way beyond the usual capacity of a facebook post or an instant message.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Is Office Email Going the Way of Snail Mail?

12/07/2011 9:20 AM

...and that's the best use for it. Good stuff.

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#12
In reply to #6

Re: Is Office Email Going the Way of Snail Mail?

12/26/2011 8:19 AM

I agree with you on that. Drawings and documents are best sent across provinces/states/countries and trans-continental via email.

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#8

Re: Is Office Email Going the Way of Snail Mail?

12/07/2011 9:22 AM

E-Mail in our office is a very large up front tool that we use in our day to day business.

We rely on e-mail to receive plans and specifications, to transmit proposals and bids, to generate RFP's (request for pricing) to our vendors and sub-contractors, to generate RFI's (request for information) to architects, engineers, owners representatives, to generate CO's (change orders), ect.

I remember the days before computers were on every desk in the office, we relied heavily on the telephone and fax machine.

Before starting a take-off for bid, you would have to wait for the plans and specs to be delivered or picked up. Same for issuing plans and specs to obtain vendor or sub-contractor pricing.

IMHO, e-mail has made our operation much more streamlined and exact.

As e-mail manager programs become more and more advanced, eliminating spam or otherwise junk mail is not that difficult.

IM and Facebook are two items I have not had the necessity to use but as time goes on, like the OP stated, "I guess I will have to adapt".

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#10

Re: Is Office Email Going the Way of Snail Mail?

12/07/2011 1:57 PM

I don't think that email is going away. It has it's share of problems, but it has advantages as well.

IM and facebook are good at rapid communication, but instant doesn't necessarily mean better. Texting has it's own uses but can be a great waste of time. When will people be able to think, plan, and catch their breath when everyone in the world can demand your attention at their whim. Just because you thought of something now, does not mean that everyone you know should stop work (or recreation, lunch, Etc.) to read about it imediately.

Email is easy to store, organize, and normally silent. I can easily look back at the messages sent and received, not just rely on my memory. It lets me concentrate on the task at hand. Email allows me to concentrate on the projects high on my priority list, not just those high on someone else's.

A lawyer I know, once told me that one of the worst things to happen to the legal profession was the invention of the fax machine. Before faxes, you would review the client file, think about your response, and dictate a letter. Some time later, you would proofread the letter before it was sent, allowing you to make changes and correct mistakes. You would then put that client file away, because it would be two weeks before you could get a reply back from the other side. Because it was somewhat cumbersome to communicate that way, you made sure that the letter was as clear and correct as possible. After the invention of the fax machine, frequently responses are scribled on the fax you just got from the other side, and quickly sent back. No one seems to take the time to think anymore. The quick response has replaced the best response, not always the best tradeoff.

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#11

Re: Is Office Email Going the Way of Snail Mail?

12/12/2011 10:57 AM

I appreciate all of the comments, thanks!

In my office, email is an important tool, especially when organized to filter out the junk mail and delete it promptly. I agree, email is a good way to document discussion and refer to them at a later time and to handle large attachments. Comment #8 mentioned "e-mail has made our operation much more streamlined and exact" and that email manager programs are helping to handle the influx of spam and junk mail. I agree. I am not a big fan of Facebook and IM, but we do have a Facebook page set up and I have used IM for project work. I think if fits better in that environment.

We have to adapt to new ways of communicating, but I feel as the majority of comments show, that email is here to stay in the workplace.

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