Email has a lot of advantages.
You can reach people without having to find them first. You don’t have to bother with initial pleasantries, and everyone knows that your brief message doesn’t have to be nice. It just has to be factual.
But email has taken over business communication in ways that would be better handled by face-to-face contact. Telephone contact works almost as well. How many times have you changed the tenor of what you will say next because of the reaction to your last statement.
Would a problem with a customer be handled more quickly if the customer’s response was immediate? The nuance of the spoken voice includes information you would miss with electronic communication.
One major organization has initiated “no-email Fridays” and encourages people to pick up the phone for a conversation on any day of the week or to see others in person.
The company says that within a few months’ time, they experienced better problem-solving, better teamwork, and happier customers.
According to New York University’s Stern School of Business, as few as half of recipients get the tone or intent of an email. And most people “vastly overestimate” their ability to relay and comprehend messages accurately.
At Syracuse University, they say misinterpretation is highest when the email comes from a boss.