Collaboration Software: The End of Email?

Email is an essential part of modern life, but it’s also the bane of the modern workplace. Collaboration software could be the answer to the question that many companies haven’t even thought to ask, and could really help streamline your business.

A 2012 study by the McKinsey Global Institute revealed that employees spend more than 25% of the working day, a massive 2.6 hours, answering and responding to emails. If anything, the time spent on communication has got worse, with employees constantly connected with their smartphones and expected to respond to every message quickly. Spam gets ever more sophisticated too, and simply scanning emails takes time.

On top of that, any distraction can sidetrack employees for minutes at a time, where a recent study by Apex Performance revealed that an employee that constantly checks emails is simply unable to focus on the task at hand. This is where collaboration software can really help filter out distractions from the outside world.

Security is paramount

There are other concerns with email, especially in the modern era where corporate security is becoming serious business. Email simply isn’t the most secure method of sharing sensitive information, unless it includes complete end-to-end encryption and additional authentication. In the age of BYOD (bring your own device), it is almost impossible to ensure that email conforms to best practice. So, if there’s a way to absorb the basic functionality of email into a more secure and cohesive platform, then it makes sense for any company to do so.

Collaboration software is the answer to the email conundrum and so much more, as it can be tailored to suit any company’s individual needs. From sharing large files, which has led to companies turning to Google’s Gmail or even free services that don’t comply with any basic security policy, to a full corporate social network with work groups hosted on a secure server, collaboration software is scalable and can keep your employees off the mainstream social networks that are well-known time thieves.

Bespoke software solutions

Beyond the simple functionality, collaboration software can be tailored to create an archive of every single conversation that can be trimmed and retained as digital minutes of online meetings. This can be a huge timesaver when it comes to retracing your steps, as sieving through emails to find an essential piece of information can be a nightmare that wipes out hours of an employee’s time.

This digital paper trail is just one of the advantages; collaboration software can also unite your employees in a much more productive environment than networks like Facebook and Twitter.

These social networks have been co-opted by a number of companies as internal communications tools with great success, using private user groups, but a purpose-built internal network is much more effective and can help with file-sharing, group working in a single application, as well as archiving and searching, features that will save a working group a vast amount of time in each and every project.

Of course, every aspect of the social network can be made to conform with the company security policies and ensure that there are no breaches.

Crucially, though, these shared digital workplaces can be controlled and filters can be applied to ensure that your employees’ valuable time is not taken up switching between applications, and that distractions don’t drag them away from the task at hand. Emails from outside sources can wait for specific times of the working day and you can then introduce your own protocols regarding email and even limit your employees’ access to certain times of the day.

This may seem extreme, but it has been proven as a way to boost your efficiency time and again. Email is an essential work tool, but workers are literally drowning in communications and a proper system of internal communication can help drive your company forward.

Sticking with the ‘tried and trusted’ technology simply because of ignorance of the alternatives means you are guaranteed to lose 25% of your workers’ time. That is simply unacceptable in the modern era and is a frightening drain on a major company’s resources.

Effective internal communication lies at the heart of any efficient company, and the best project managers are turning to collaboration software as a means of keeping any major project on track. With the modern alternatives, email is positively archaic, not to mention a drain on resources.

So, if you still rely on email, it’s time to take a look at the alternatives, because collaboration and project management software can change the way you work and put you in control of your communications, rather than the other way round.

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