1. Email makes you feel productive, but you are not.
Just observe yourself when you check your email … you’ll probably realize that it’s happening when you’ve hit a “stuck” point on whatever you’re working on. You’re probably at that point in need of your micro-dopamine “hit” so you can get a false sense of achievement, and then you feel better and you go back to your original task. Rings a bell? This would be fine if it happened to you once an hour or more, but I guarantee you it’s happening to you many, many times in an hour. If you’ve got an iPhone, look at the “screen time” and see the number of your mail app “picks” per hour. This should shock you. And the result is that a task that should take you a certain amount of time does take you way longer because of your email “addiction”
2. Email is the most inefficient way of internal communication
Email forces you to be reactive. Period. It starts with the first batch of emails you check and respond to at the beginning of your day, then emails beget more emails, as eventually you’ll end up encouraging useless email “conversations”, always ending emails with a question that needs an answer, rather than trying to bring an issue to a quick resolution. Most often this reaches a level of absurdity when you realize that your discussion involves two or more people that seat almost right next to each other in the same office.
3. The case for banning email from work
We all agree that email stresses people out and it’s a colossal time suck. I will argue that face-to-face is still the best way of communicating efficiently: it’s the highest bandwidth form of communication and it includes visual sub cues that are essential for thorough understanding, from body language and facial expressions, leaving an impression; to bonding with coworkers.
As such, any leader who wants to foster cultural shift from an individual mindset to that of a community will come to the same conclusion as I have: ban internal email! Replace with face-to-face and instant messaging. My experiments and research on those who have done it have experienced the following changes:
Sounds like a shoo-in to me!
Let me know what you think! DM me @philippemora
My name's phil mora and I blog about the things I love: fitness, hacking work, tech and anything holistic.
Head of Product and VP Engineering.
thinker, doer, designer, coder, leader