Winner of the People and Culture 2019 Award
Ffounders of Ecocoast
The last time I counted I received 526 emails (both internal and external), over 35 LinkedIn requests / messages and an uncountable amount of WhatsApp messages in one business day.
Technology has advanced the business world to unforeseen levels over the last 30+ years but are we now facing a crisis of over information? So I ask myself, are we experiencing death by email?
When I think back to my father’s time in business there was no email, mobile phones were only just starting to be used (if you were lucky enough to have or be able to afford one) and as such most day to day business was done either in person, by post, via fax or over the landline. Now, the cynic in me highlights that due to the speed of technology we can complete and close more and more transactions in a timely manner, due to rapid response times. But are we now being inefficient in other ways and are we losing the ability to communicate face to face?
I ran a test a few years ago, which involved me only checking my emails before 9am, then again between 12-1pm and then finally after 5pm. The amount of efficiency this added to my workload was truly staggering, as there was minimal distraction. If I was to guesstimate, I would say it gave me least a 200% efficiency gain, allowing me to complete far more deals in exactly the same timeframe as before.
Now, if you couple that with the fact that most people now have mobile phones and all the apps associated with them, at their fingertips on their desks with them, is the workforce becoming even more distracted? Yes! Is my simple answer. I would encourage all employers to encourage their employees to work efficiently and manage their time well with minimal distractions. I would also stress the importance of face to face communication. Emails are fine, but they should be in addition to a conversation or call and not in replacement of. People buy from people at the end of the day, communicating in person will not only help solve a problem quicker, but it will keep your customers more loyal and make your feel more embedded in your company as a whole.
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