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Emails vs Instant Messages in a Workplace: Which to Make Your Go-To for 2020

There are continuous disputes about the roles of different communication channels: effective or counterproductive, replaceable or indispensable. The hottest battle addresses emails and instant messaging, old rivals in team productivity and communication fields. 

Some say, ‘Emails have been killed off. RIP emails.’ While others say, ‘Team chats are nothing more than a distraction.’

Wait a minute. What should teams use after all? Emails or instant messaging?

The truth is, use of emails is only increasing. They’re still a crucial part of team communication. At the same time, emails are often cumbersome and overwhelming. They’re far from the ideal solution for truly productive team communication. This is where team messengers come in, with significant benefits for team productivity and collaboration.

Now let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of emails and instant messaging to choose the best way to optimize team communication. 

Pros and cons of instant messaging

The email vs instant messaging debate is hot. It’s claimed that email lends itself towards business communication, whereas team messengers are generally considered suitable only for informal messaging.

Although instant messaging is a relative newcomer in the team communication niche, team chats have already achieved great popularity. There’s no mystery as to why — messengers are fast, responsive, and easy to use. They provide users with right-in-the-moment responses, file sharing, and collaboration on the fly. The truth is, nowadays team chats are much more than just messaging apps.

But, let’s dive a bit deeper into the advantages and disadvantages of instant messaging when it comes to team productivity. The pros include the following:

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Yes, team messengers are great. But to keep this article unbiased, there are a few possible disadvantages of instant messaging for you to consider:

To sum this section up, team chats may not be the place to have formal conversations. However, instant messaging is ideal for all other internal communication. With the help of instant messaging apps, teammates can communicate quickly and seamlessly.

Pros and cons of team communication via email

The truth is, teams usually need a variety of communication channels for different occasions. While team chats provide users with real-time collaborative conversations, emails, the true veterans of team communication, are accessible and great for archiving purposes and long-form messages, especially to multiple recipients. At the same time, emails lose with regards to the speed of communication and are vulnerable to junk and spam mail.

Now let’s dot the ‘i’ and discover all the pros and cons of email communication. 

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Emails are great when you need:

Worldwide email accounts and user forecast (M)

What about the disadvantages of emails? Here they come!

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Summing up this section, emails have a higher level of formality than team messengers, they are asynchronous, they make it difficult to switch between contexts and it takes much more time to read and send messages via email. It’s not good or bad. Just remember that emails may be useless for sending a casual reminder or asking a quick question. Nevertheless, emails are a great choice when it comes to setting up an interview, sending a contract, and making first contact with a new business partner.

Tools to enhance your instant communication

Today the instant messaging market offers a sea of tools for you to consider: team chat, video and call conference tools, etc. How do you choose the best option? Luckily, the majority of apps offer a free trial period so you can easily evaluate their value for your company before purchasing. 

When it comes to video conferencing tools, you may expect to see Zoom or Skype listed in this section. However, Zoom turned out to be insecure. On the other hand, Skype fails constantly, and you end up without your message history or experience weak video and audio quality. 

Considering that, let’s take a look at a new-born multi-platform video conferencing tool called Jitsi Meet. It’s secure, full-featured, and open-source. In other words, this app is completely free. Here you can create video calls with an unlimited number of members. What’s more, there’s no need to create an account, so you can start a video call in one click.

If your team needs more comprehensive communication functionality and a single hub for shared knowledge, you’ll definitely need a team messenger. Among the most favored options, you can find ChantyFlockSlack and its competitorsYammer, etc.

Inspect Your Emails

Tools to enhance email communication

Although nobody likes to dig through endless email threads, let’s face it – we can’t avoid using emails at work. Fortunately, there are many email management tools to keep the email workflow (both internal and external ones) productive and streamlined.

Here is a list of tools that allow you to make your business communication truly productive:

Wrapping up

Since team communication is a complex phenomenon, none of the methods that empower communication can be overlooked. Considering that, don’t be in a hurry to get rid of some communication channels, and don’t believe marketing tricks like ‘X is an email killer’. 

The reality is that different team communication channels serve specific areas of your business. There are many powerful tools which can enhance instant and email communications, and can be a productive addition to any company workflow.

If you need a quick as a flash response, drop a line to your teammate via a team chat.

If you need a higher level of formality or want to contact a new business partner, compose an email. 

If you lack order in your follow-up process and inbox, choose and adopt an email management software.

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