As the main source of communication between employees, email has been declared dead countless times. However, the coronavirus pandemic could finally have delivered the service a deathblow.
According to a new report from the Parliament Street think tank, four in ten (43 percent) businesses are “actively considering” replacing email as their main source of communication among employees, mostly in favour of chat and instant messaging software.
Almost two thirds (63 percent), meanwhile, said they increased spending to make employee communication more user-friendly and to keep their staff healthy and up to date on all things coronavirus.
Further, half of the 200 businesses surveyed said they will continue supporting a remote-first working model, even after the pandemic subsides. Two thirds said they are looking to reorganise their digital strategy to make their remote working policies more flexible, while others plan to increase commitments to training initiatives, to make it easier for employees to adapt to remote working.
Mental health was also an important factor for many organisations, who noticed an increase in issues among employees over the past few months. To that end, many have offered counselling via web conference systems.
“There will always be a purpose for email in the workplace. However, it is now one of many tools to communicate and people can decide which is best to use based on the context of what they are trying to achieve,” said Sridhar Iyengar, MD at Zoho Corporation.
"With remote working more widespread than ever, it is inevitable that these new communication methods, which instigate faster decisions, more streamlined processes, and instant approvals, are superseding email in many cases as preferred tools for employee communication. Not all communication is needed to be in real-time, but these other channels can do a better job of replicating the speed of in-person office work when more timely responses are required.”