Once upon a time not too long ago, the only communication method available in the workplace besides phone was email. Even in today’s digitally saturated business world, the numbers still suggest that email is the top-used enterprise communication tool. In fact, the majority of email traffic in 2014 (over 108.7 billion emails sent daily) originated from the business realm, according to The Radicati Group’s “Email Statistics Report, 2014-2018” report.
But not so fast. According to the aforementioned report, in 2014 the average business user sent and received about 121 emails a day. Specifically:
36 emails were sent
85 emails were received
12 percent were spam
These findings make us wonder just how much time is idly spent by employees navigating an inbox filled primarily with illegitimate messages (after all, less than half of emails received by employees were actually responded to). While IT is obligated to set up every business user with an email account, two questions remain: How are employees using email today, and how is it being impacted by advanced new communication tools entering the workplace?
Our EVP Davide Petramala agrees that a pivotal shift is taking place in the email realm. We recently sat down with him to learn more about why this is.
“Email was a central way for companies to communicate. But now with tools that enable seamless team communication and collaboration, like portals and communities, email is shifting. It’s only one of many tools that people use within the enterprise for communications,” he said.
The reason for this shift, according to Petramala, is a growing need amongst employees for “persistent communications,” which can only be facilitated by integrated communication tools that seamlessly enable “always on” conversations between employees, customers, partners, etc. In fact, almost 80 percent of employees recently surveyed by Ovum feel that the constant connectivity afforded by these types of applications enable them to do their jobs better.
These kinds of tools (i.e. social, mobile, chat applications) allow employees to easily cross silos using just one tool that can handle multifaceted communications, as opposed to multiple tools that are one-dimensional in nature, he explained. This helps build team camaraderie between disparate departments like marketing, sales or finance to get certain jobs done as efficiently as possible.
“A lot of these tools are also becoming mobile-first,” Petramala added, and he is absolutely right. The mobile email market continues to show exponential growth, according to The Radicati Group. In addition, we’re witnessing strong growth of mobile IM, while desktop-based IM is slowing down considerably. Even today, in comparison to the latest and most advanced communication tools, mobile email is perceived by some business leaders as a “traditional” form of communication.