How many emails do you receive each day? Does 121 sound about right? That’s the average number of emails a typical office employee processes each and every day. Adobe Systems revealed that employees are spending the majority of their workweek – upwards of 30 hours – reading and responding to emails. And half a million workers even admit to refreshing their inboxes while using the bathroom.
Let’s give people their precious bathroom time back! As the go-to form of communication in the modern workplace, overuse of email could be contributing to a plethora of issues, from a lack of collaboration to seriously low employee morale. So before you hit send on that staff memo consider this: Is email the correct platform for your message? Perhaps it’s time for a different method of collaboration. A company intranet could even help make everyday activities easier and faster.
Too Much Email Is Bad For Business
Across the world, 205 billion emails are sent each day. The time and effort required to read and respond are extraordinary. Think about what else you could accomplish for your organization – like actually doing your job. A flood of emails can cause stress and anxiety when employees feel they need to reply right away (we’ve all had that overwhelmed feeling when we get back from a meeting to discover a full inbox). And the important messages that actually do require immediate responses are often lurking below notes of low priority. Relying too heavily on email communication reduces employee engagement and collaboration across the office. Combine that with the modern expectation that we should be available anytime, anywhere, and as a result, staff morale can quickly take a downward turn.
Enter, The Office Intranet
Luckily, there’s an alternative to a constant influx of emails. An office intranet is a central database that all employees can access, collaborating within a private platform. Similar to a social network, an intranet allows staff members to share, like, and comment on content. It fuels discussions, allows for document uploads, manages files, and much more. In other words, it helps facilitate that most elusive and desirable of concepts – employee engagement.
Not only does an intranet reduce the frustrating email back-and-forth, but it also allows employees to be more productive – and thus, happier. Intranets can help accomplish these five common work tasks, eliminating that frustration that comes with email back-and-forth:
Let’s face it, weekly newsletters just build up in dedicated email folders – and are sometimes forgotten about. But they contain a lot of useful information that organizations put a lot of effort into compiling – and in a larger organization, it can be really important for helping the team feel connected and as though they’re part of something bigger.
Try aggregating newsworthy company updates on the office intranet instead, where you can manage a news feed. You can even segment the feed for local offices or by team functionalities. Did someone in the Auckland office have a baby, or was recently married? Or maybe you want to spotlight a new team member? Newsfeeds are the perfect outlet for more personal memos as they cut back on the inevitable “congrats!” accidentally sent via the dreaded Reply All button.
Save The Date.
Every company has important dates they need everyone to be aware of. Shared calendars are important for communicating key deadlines and company events. Rather than share a running list of dates via email, create a company calendar that everyone can access on the intranet. Add recurring monthly meetings or report due dates, block days for your annual conference, invite staff to the Christmas party, or share office holiday closures. Staff will be able to access this at any time so they’ll have no excuse for meeting deadlines.
Draft Management, Sorted.
When you need an extra set of eyes on a report, the editing through email can get confusing. Asking for tracked changes from more than one person, and that confusion escalates. Instead of emailing updated versions back and forth, uploading to an intranet ensures everyone is looking at the most up-to-date document. Your team can edit in real-time directly through the intranet, and offer suggestions via a comment function. That way, there’s no risk of mix-ups and you can access all the changes at once, simplifying the process and avoiding frustrating mistakes.
Brainstorming Sessions – At Their Leisure.
An activity best-handled face-to-face, brainstorming allows co-workers to bounce ideas off each other. But as a business is increasingly global, the constraints of time zones and geographical locations have moved to brainstorm into the digital realm. If someone sent an email each time they had a lightbulb go off, you’d be in for a long read. Instead, introduce the topic via a discussion board on the intranet. Your team can participate either during set meeting time or as they have time throughout a day.
Ask For Feedback.
Some ideas require crowdsourcing. Want to make sure everyone’s happy with the new company branding? Or that the majority is on board for a new leave policy? Everyone’s views are important, but the email makes it hard to keep them organized and chronicled. On an intranet, you can create a survey to collect feedback that can be easily accessed by every decision-maker in the company. Staff will feel that their opinion is valued, and they’re an important part of shaping company culture.
Bottom Line: Intranets Add Value to Your Bottom Line
Cutting unnecessary emails and boosting collaboration just makes good sense. A customized intranet has huge ROI potential – happy, valued, and organized employees translate to the increased work quality. Proving this point, the Mckinsey Social Economy Report shows that intranets and other social technologies can increase worker productivity by up to 25%.
Email isn’t right for every scenario. Though it’s easy to flick through a note at any time – especially via our mobile devices – email is not always the most efficient or effective way to get your point across. At MyHub, we’ve actually been able to put our theory to the test, showing how company intranet software can drastically reduce email volume while boosting employee morale and adding value to the business.
Is your organization suffering from email overload? Tell me about it!