How to Communicate in the Office When Email Goes Away

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You’re used to using email. You’ve used it for years, ever since it was the latest and greatest that technology had to offer. But get this: the digital world is passing it by as Millennials and Gen Z use personal messaging apps, instead of the once all-powerful email. When the younger generation starts a trend, it’s usually a good idea to follow suit in order to keep up with changing technology and give your younger employees a more familiar environment that they are comfortable in. That’s why it’s a good idea to move away from email for your inter-office communications.

A recent study by App Annie discovered that those aged 13-24 spend 3.5x more time in messaging apps compared to those over 45 years old. Younger demographics spend only 1% of their time in email, but 8% of their time using messaging apps. Older demographics use their smartphones like personal computers and still use apps that replicate desktop functions, spending 3% of their time in email and 15% of their time in mobile browsers.

As the usage of messaging apps rise, email usage growth is projected to slow down in the coming years, dropping from 2.7% in 2016 to only 1.2% by 2019. It should be noted that the relationship between the two communication tools are directly related–as messaging app usage rises, email usage declines in turn. While the older generation uses their smartphone to search the web and check email, the younger generations use their apps to connect and communicate with their contacts. Email is less direct than the alternatives out there, making messaging apps the perfect communication tool for a generation born with the internet at hand.

The apps behind Dark Social traffic have taken over. The young people of the world are socializing on social media less and instead are using messaging services to talk with a chosen few more often. It’s why Facebook has over 1 billion active users and also has 800 million people on their Facebook Messenger app. Facebook bought WhatsApp because they saw this trend coming, and now the app has over 1 billion users. After a meteoric rises in 2015, there are now 650 million people on WeChat, 275 million on Kik Messenger, and over 100 million on Snapchat. Private messaging has taken over, and it’s time you adapted to accommodate them.

Having practically grown up with a smartphone in their hand, younger generations are becoming more reliant on their devices, and it’s no surprise that they are using them differently than those who had to adapt to new technology. Are you still sticking to email to communicate in-office? You shouldn’t have to. When considering communication tools for your office, consider what your employees would be open to using. It’s probably a good idea to look at this growing trend and adjust in order to encourage your young employees to communicate with their coworkers.

Try investing in a free collaboration tool like Slack, Stream, Chatwork, or HipChat, which have become very easy and convenient ways for offices to communicate. Services like these act like a messaging app, and users can communicate with the group or have private conversations whenever they want. This is a great way to get your younger employees communicating better and interacting more frequently–which is a good thing!

These tools are not just a way for your employees to stay in contact, it also helps productivity in a way email can’t. According to Slack surveys, companies that have used their service have seen a 32% increase in productivity on average. Slack also influences companies to have 25.1% fewer meetings on average, and 62.4% of users believe it has made it easier to find necessary information by promoting communication and collaboration between team members.

On the management side of things, 80% of users believe that it has increased transparency inside their company, which is essential when appeasing Millennials in the workplace. And 79% say it has improved the culture of the team, making it an important team-building tool as well. Slack also claims that their service has helped companies to reduce their email usage by 48.6%, emphasizing that email is on its way out, because most teams consider it an inconvenience.

Have you ever felt like you get too many emails and it’s just too difficult to keep track of everything? Your employees are already there–follow their lead.