Not every email is necessary. Fact! Emails are the bane of a lot of people’s work. I love writing; I just hate dealing with emails that don’t have to be email. (I should do a blog post about what I hate (maybe also love) about emails.)
Moving along… Emails are necessary. There’s just a threshold they shouldn’t cross. Here are some instances emails are not always necessary:
When in the vicinity of my team mates I often just walk into their office and get the answers I need. This can be annoying when someone is ‘in the zone’. It can also be distracting for some. Sometimes I also don’t want interruptions but for quick answers I don’t mind.
Do you have to send an email to someone sitting next to you to get a short and straightforward answer? Writing emails may be easier than getting off your chair. An inconvenience for you, perhaps. Not everything email is necessary when the person you’re writing is in front of you.
At least this way you can also tell things like body-language, which you don’t get with emails. No doubt, it can make teams stronger; being in each other’s space that is.
Sometimes the answers I’m looking for are time sensitive. At such times picking up the phone is the best. With a phone call I don’t always have to wait for an answer. Also it is possible to pick up on tones, which you would other read into in a written form.
I don’t send emails for the sake of it. I’m sure you’ve also been victim of people who think productivity is a matter of the quantity of emails. Not every email is necessary. Some email threads don’t need new life.
Before I send an email I ask myself if it is necessary. Should I communicate what I’m about to? Must it be in the form of an email? Why? I hate doing to others what I don’t want them doing to me…
Do you have a particular approach on whether emails are necessary?