When Ray Tomlinson invented the email in 1972, little did he know that it would be the start of one of the most widely used communication tools in human history. Today, the email is perhaps the most popular communication channel in the corporate world. Everyone in an organization typically has an email address, from the company president down to the lowest ranking employee.
Part of the popularity of the email may be attributed to its strengths as a communication tool, such as:
1. It’s free
Obviously, companies assign email addresses to their employees for free. And even outside the business world, signing up or creating an email account won’t cost you a penny.
2. Reference is easy
Organizing emails is a lot easier than paper. You can store email messages and attachments safely, logically, and reliably.
3. It’s easy to use
Once you have created an email account, you can start sending and receiving email messages. You can also access data storage and contacts quickly and easily.
4. Sending is quick
You can send a message within a click of the mouse. It’s no surprise that companies use email alert system to relay information that need to be disseminated quickly like important announcements and office orders.
5. It’s global
Anyone can access their email inboxes anywhere in the world, as long as they have a computer or mobile device that can connect to the internet.
6. It’s environment friendly
The email has replaced traditional snail mail as the preferred means of communications in the corporate world, and outside of it for that matter. That indicates tons and tons of paper conserved because of the decreased demand for snail mail.
7. It’s versatile
The email can be used in multiple ways. It has proven to be an effective advertising and promotional medium. Companies use it to promote a product or service. Inside an organization, email alert system is being used to relay time-sensitive notifications such as event reminders.
But despite its many advantages, the email can also have its weaknesses such as:
1. It lacks a personal touch
Say what you want to say about the traditional mail being so slow, but at least sending a handwritten card or letter allowed a sender to have a personal touch. That is something that can’t be said of email messages.
2. It can cause misunderstandings
Email may be an effective communication channel, but it can also cause misunderstandings among its users. This is particularly true for people who don’t take the time to read or proofread whatever they’ve typed before clicking “send.”
3. It is not always suited for emergency notifications
While there are email alert system programs that are designed to notify employees through email during emergencies, the common drawback of such mechanism is that not all employees are in front of their computers. Thus an email alert system won’t be ideal for companies which have many field-based workers.
4. It can be counterproductive
One recent survey showed that the typical office employee in the United States spends an average of six hours a day reading emails. What’s more disturbing is that half of the time is spent reading personal emails.
Although corporate emails use anti-spam software, it is still fairly common to see a couple or two spam mail in one’s corporate email inbox.
A virus can seriously damage your computer. It is not uncommon for an email user to open an attachment without being aware that it contains virus. Fortunately, it is a standard operating procedure in most companies to scan attachments first before opening or downloading.