Death of Email and Productive Software Replacements in a Business Environment

The ever-changing forms of communication today are making us rethink how we communicate using the old tools and systems surrounding us. Email has been around for years and now is a part of our everyday life creating an “email culture”. But is email slowly dying?   For those of you who are not too familiar with the history of email, here are the high points. Email was created in the early ’70s for the main purpose of scientists being able to share real-time information across the world for research. Skip ahead to 1996, and Hotmail was introduced to the public with 2GB of storage — back when hard drives with that much storage cost $400. This was a game-changer in the industry that caught Microsoft’s attention in 2000 when they purchased Hotmail. In 2004, Gmail was introduced but didn’t officially launch until 5 years later after they worked out all the bugs. Email became used worldwide with just over 4 billion people using email in 2020. That’s half the world’s population! From that 4 billion, 43% of the users are Gmail accounts, with Yahoo and Outlook coming in a close second and third. With that many users in the world, 306 billion emails are sent daily which comes out to roughly 3.5 million emails per second. This is an enormous amount of information crossing between a multitude of users. In America alone, users can expect to receive up to 125 emails per day, with more than half of email being spam. What are the pros and cons of email as used in today’s society?   The biggest pro will be that it is easily accessible and free, depending on your access to a computer. The biggest cons are hackers/phishing/virus threats coming from the outside. Everyday users will come across emails aiming to steal valuable information and companies, on the other hand, will spend millions of dollars each year training employees to combat these emails. What’s next? The alternative to email culture has become a bigger presence lately with the use of programs such as MS Teams and Slack. These interactive programs offer all-in-one Organization Management communication which allows for: Each of these examples is something you have probably encountered in an email, however, it may be embedded in a long thread that’s unorganized. The power of programs is the ability to have all communication housed in a structured format that allows for sharing information easily. Instead of sending files in an email, they live in a shared folder organized by WBS. Instead of asking about progress or action item follow up, it is already visible to allow for questions to be answered quickly. Rethinking how we communicate within organizations by using smarter communication tools can help alleviate countless hours of pointless emails. Will email ever go away or die off? No. But with organizations willing to use change management techniques to help communicate more effectively, the landscape will continue to evolve to become more efficient. Author: By Cameron Laurent

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remote communication tips

Virtual Project Management Tips to Get Your Company through COVID-19

Author: Luke Bradshaw As individuals and organizations alike feel the impacts while dealing with a Covid-19 reality, managing projects and teams of people have presented new challenges. Whether it’s a major tech company in Silicon Valley or a local church, new ways of communicating and organizing people and projects are needed. Implementing virtual project management strategies effectively can make it possible for companies to conduct work across the globe, while enabling employees in different locations and cultural backgrounds to all work seamlessly on the same projects. Considering the benefits an organization can get managing virtual project teams, here are some virtual project management tips to help you handle the new COVID-19 reality: Schedule regular meetings Scheduling briefings or huddle groups at the same time on the same weekday contributes to creating a healthy routine. Routines provide team members with something they are used to and familiar with, which in return puts the team at ease and reduces stress. Additionally, look towards choosing video calls over phone and email. With virtual teams, regular video calls are a great way to avoid misunderstandings and connect team members on a more personal level. Establish communication tools The importance of establishing multiple communication tools is vital. First of all, your team has a way to communicate something that is urgent to the right person immediately. Secondly, it unifies processes such as what to use for conference calls, screen recordings, and so on. It is clear what tools is used for what, which contributes to creating that internal feeling of togetherness. The nature of virtual teams makes them a bit trickier to manage over a long period of time than a collocated team. Communication difficulties or scheduling conflicts can cause important information to get lost in the shuffle and forgotten. Furthermore, it may be difficult to know who is working on various tasks at any given time or when different team members are available. Too much ambiguity in a virtual team usually results in a diffusion of responsibility when it comes to getting things done. Therefore, it’s critical to have a well-defined system in place for tracking progress, workflow, and expectations, which will enable team members to be as efficient and effective as possible.  Use project management tools Traditionally, project management has involved translating brain power onto pen and paper and loads of spreadsheets, emails and various messaging platforms. While these methods still work for some, tracking projects through these means when working with virtual teams can be messy because there’s so much backtracking to do and important information can get lost. Interactive, web-based project management tools help keep track of those tasks and projects in one place, allowing organizations to plan entire projects from beginning to end, manage project schedules, and collaborate in virtual team settings. Online project management software has become fundamental for businesses to optimize their processes and be more efficient and effective in carrying out their tasks. Build trust and relationships Even if a virtual team has the best processes and tools in place, it will still fail to deliver positive results if team members don’t trust one another. A lack of trust can manifest in a variety of ways. In most cases, the root problem is a lack of strong, genuine relationships within the team. When employees lose trust in each other or a virtual leader, team members can become disengaged and self-oriented, which makes any form of collaborative work difficult. Investing in creative ways to promote team-building exercises and help build trust for virtual teams will create better outcomes and more team confidence.  

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