Email has revolutionized how we communicate with one another. Messages can be sent to anyone with a valid email address anywhere in the world. This allows for closer collaborations, even when workers might be half a world apart. It’s easy to do, requires very little training, and is cost-effective for most businesses today with several low-cost options available. It can also be very time consuming and limit productivity in certain situations as well.
What are the pros and cons of email communication in business? Let’s take a look at a few of the key points that should be considered on the topic.
What Are the Pros of Email Communication in Business?
1. Multiple people can be part of the conversation.
Email can be like a conference call, but without all of the “Can you hear me now?” questions that tend to be asked. You can include multiple email addresses, send copies to people so they stay in the loop, or even blind copy people if the need so arises. It’s an easy way to make sure an entire team receives the same information at the same time.
2. Emails can be sent at any time.
There is really no limit to the time when you can send out an email. If a thought strikes you in the dead of night, then you can log into your business email account and send out a message to those who need to know about it.
3. Files and images are easy to attach to emails.
Entire projects, with the right compression software, can be easily sent by email. This makes it easy for even sole proprietors, freelancers, and other independent contractors to have a potentially profitable business even if they work from their dining room table. As long as there aren’t file size restrictions, you can send virtually anything to anyone with a valid email account anywhere in the world.
4. You don’t have to be present to receive email.
Emails are waiting for people when they log-in to their account. They account receives the email and notifies the recipient that there is a message waiting. Since it often takes less time to read an email than it does to listen to a voicemail, there can be some time savings found with this communication method.
5. You can request evidence of receipt.
Virtually all email programs allow for senders to request proof of receipt for the email sent or proof that the email was opened.
What Are the Cons of Email Communication in Business?
1. Email often forces workers to multitask.
Multitasking used to be a celebrated strength that employers wanted their workers to have. Come to find out, multitasking can end up costing people a lot of time. Up to 15 minutes of lost productivity occurs every time a worker switches a task. If that workers responds to an email in the middle of a project, then the switch to email and then back to the project could result in a 30 minute net loss.
2. Email is a fast way to pick up a bug.
Trojan horses, viruses, malware – the list of potential dangers that can come from a single email are enormous. Phishing scams can put your proprietary information at risk. Financial information can be quickly stolen and used thanks to realistic scams that are used today. Because these are such great risks, some companies have limited email attachments and this can make it difficult to do business.
3. Email may be becoming out of date.
File sharing services like Dropbox make it possible to share huge amounts of data through a secure downloading process. Video conferencing and other face-to-face communication methods from remote locations offer more in-depth discussions than email can provide. Wording in an email can be easily misconstrued. Because of this, companies may depend less on this communication method because it isn’t the time-saver it used to be for them.
4. Email can be easily abused.
Without restrictions in place, many businesses find that their workers may send numerous emails to family and friends instead of doing the job they were hired to do.
5. Not every email sent may be a professional reflection of the company.
A business with 100 employees may have 100 different signatures being sent out to the world every day. Not every email may have wording or signatures that meets professional requirements. All it takes is one bad email to create a negative brand message that spreads quickly.
The pros and cons of email communication in business show that it is a typically positive method of transferring information. As long as limits can be put into place so that abuses of this communication method can be limited, there is a good chance that it could increase productivity levels in multiple areas.