Help us to Stop the Fragmentation in Global Communications
In 2017, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to avenues of communication, in both our personal and professional lives.
Traditional phone calls, text messages and emails have been supplemented by the rise of third party apps and services such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Slack. This has now reached a point where direct messaging is so important to the user experience, that even Instagram and Dropbox have implemented it alongside their existing services.
With all of these options available to us, it is easy to forget that by using a selection of different services, we are spreading the threads of information over various platforms, and when it comes to searching retrospectively for this information, well… the term Clusterf*ck comes to mind.
There are some good reasons why certain individuals and industries have moved away from traditional email. For instance, cloud-based systems, such as Slack, provide a great interface for a group of people working on a project together, to share information.
However, today I would like to propose a solution to this problem that will bring communications back under one roof. I call it ‘Eeeee-may-yal’, or for the techies amongst you, simply ‘email’.
With email, you can send messages to either one person or groups of people, tagging individuals in sections particularly relevant to them. You can include file attachments and hyperlinks to external locations to easily share data – large or small, then, using a combination of Search and Find Word, you can later find all information relating to a matter in the order it was discussed.
Basic email etiquette training can quickly resolve most of the issues which caused the need for these alternative platforms in the first place.
Here are our top three rules for simpler, more efficient emailing:
1) Reply All
Rather than replying to only the sender of the email, this button will send your response to everyone on the original email thread.
Do you regularly reply to email threads without clicking Reply All? – STOP IT – you are part of the problem.
2) Separate threads for separate problems
Don’t simply bombard everybody with a list of questions and points, the majority of which are not relevant to them. Instead, create separate threads for different topics and include only those that need to be included. This helps to prevent the creation of sub-threads within email chains, which can prevent pertinent information from reaching those who need it.
3) Ask to be removed if you do not need to be on an email thread.
The psyche of the employee is often disregarded by those in management. One of the main fears of an employee, is that they may be disturbing their superiors with unimportant information or original ideas. This can be a direct cause for the dreaded ‘Reply All’ issue discussed in rule 1.
If you don’t feel you need to be on an email thread, tell the whole thread to remove you. You may be causing more problems than you know, by remaining on a thread that has little to do with you.
There are of course many more, but by following these three basic rules in your day to day email communications, you can help to stop the fragmentation in global communications.