The trend toward no email is growing. But why?

Evidence of the Rejection

A Day Without Email Is Like …

No-E-Mail Fridays Transform Office

My 30-Day No Email Trial: The Results

Facebook: No-Email Day

The links above demonstrate a pattern I first mentioned in my article “How-Will-Tablets-Impact-Your-IT-Strategy”  ………check point 7.  E-mail gave a huge productivity boost to the corporate world in the 90s.  Now, its a drain on productivity.  It’s a clear example of where a strength becomes a weakness.  If you spend 60% of your working hours answering and clarifying e-mails but only 40% doing productive work……then what’s the point?

E-mail is literally sucking the life out of our careers.

But it’s not just the quantity of e-mail that is a problem.  It’s also the quality and how it impacts our professional lives.  Otherwise good employees are destroyed by simple e-mails mistakes.  E-mail has become, in some companies, a dangerous political game.  Play at your own risk.  Why?  No really – why should anyone escalate to a position of influence just because of their e-mail strategy?

To mitigate the career implications of e-mail the world has evolved etiquette  standards for this form of communication.  But doesn’t this just highlight how poor a communication channel it is?  The answer?—-Yes.  E-mail sucks.  What once was good has become abused and mis-used.  Time for evolution.

Ok….so what’s next?

1. Less is More – As so many articles points out, e-mail has become a crutch. It’s made us lazy in our communication standards and given us a reason not to talk.  NOT GOOD.  So part of the change is recognizing this and rejecting e-mail as the channel for your message.  Ok, someone sends you a note.  Doesn’t mean you have to respond in kind.  Pick up the phone, walk over to their desk.

2.  IM – Instant Messaging is helping fill the gap, but you can see a similar tunnel of problems coming.  When used informally for quick, non-official conversations…it’s ok.  But trouble brews when conversations are saved, e-mailed, or the IMers stop talking even when they’re 2 feet away.

3. Video Texting / Conversing –  A new generation, mobile devices and social media mobile apps will make this more popular.  What’s hard is that video requires presentation skills that many of us lack.  Video requires you to be self-aware, and media savvy.  The future is to those who can master, embrace this.

4. Call Out Foul Play – Corporate leaders need to get smart about e-mail.  Recognize the abusers, and punish them.  Reward real productivity and true leadership.


Will email disappear?  Maybe.  Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, and Novell Groupwise are old platforms.  Legacy.  When a solution plateaus it becomes a ripe target for regeneration, and transformation.  But the data in e-mail is way TOOOO valuable.  For that reason alone, many mail servers will hang with us decades into the future.


2 thoughts on “NoEmail

    Sorry for caps. It’s because I really was thinking about it.
    I was thinking… what it would be like to be “off the grid” for a bit.
    Say… a month. NO EMAIL. and let it all get backed up. wonder what that would do for my life… or … whether it would be a beginning to career suicide…

    • Peter….I’m trying a less extreme form. I reserve the end of day to look through emails and then I mark a strategy for each one: call and discuss, go meet directly with the person, schedule a group meeting, ignore, or at the very worst: dish out a light simple response. Take care….hope things are going well for you.

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