Are your project teams still using email?

Here’s five reasons to try team collaboration tools

Companies still have an ambivalent attitude to email. On the one hand, we are annoyed by endless email chains, irrelevant distribution lists, and spam. In the digital workplace, the "zero inbox" remains the magical goal and a measure of a successful working day.

On the other hand, figures from the IT industry association Bitkom confirm that for many workers, email remains the most important means of communication. "Email was once pronounced dead, but in fact it's more alive than ever," explains CEO Bernd Rohleder.

However, social collaboration platforms like Circuit enable much more efficient collaboration. Circuit combines messaging, voice and video communication, screen sharing, and file sharing on a single interface. There are several key reasons why working together with Social Collaboration, such as in project communication, is much more productive than email:

1. Messages remain in context

Mailboxes hardly have any filter options. At best, the subject line may indicate to which project or process the email belongs. Often however, only the text itself reveals this information and it is up to the recipient to figure out the relevant context. Emails can be assigned to different folders after receipt, but only manually. In Circuit, participants exchange messages and files in clearly marked conversations or team rooms. This ensures that all messages and files are always accessible to the right group of people in the context of a particular project or topic. It significantly reduces the effort for the user, leaving more time and energy for the actual work.

2. The receiver remains in control

With emails, it is mainly the sender who decides when the receiver should see the mail ("push"). This implies an expectation of immediate clarification and a timely response. With Circuit, the participants themselves decide when the best time of day is for processing messages ("pull"). The result: longer, more productive periods of concentrated work without unnecessary stress from unanswered emails.

3. Complete history of who worked on what

Emails and their attachments often languish in the inbox of their recipients, who then decide for themselves if and when they will be deleted. Many files may be stored in a separate file-sharing service, and instant messages are hardly ever saved. When an employee leaves the company, a lot of content is lost. Team conversations are created at the beginning of the project and store a structured, complete, and searchable history of all exchanged messages and files. This is a real advantage when new employees join the company. Once added to the relevant team conversation, they have a full overview of ongoing topics and access to the most important documents.

4. Meet the expectations of a new generation of employees

The above-quoted Bitkom numbers show, as do many other studies and reviews, that the younger generation of employees send significantly fewer emails, and some do not even have an email address. From their time at school, university and among friends, they are used to communicating via messaging and social networking services and expect the same at their first job. Circuit is built on very similar principles while providing the level of security and quality required in a professional environment.

5. Circuit also enables voice and video calls

Despite the advantages of collaboration apps compared to traditional email, here too there is still the danger of an information overload. The constant back and forth of short messages can also limit productivity. For complex questions and problems, voice or video calls are therefore the obvious solution. That's why sophisticated platforms offer the ability to start a one-on-one or group call from the context of conversations with a single click, resulting in faster and better problem-solving.

So what about the death of email? In external communication, it is still an essential standard and will remain so for a while longer. However, for internal communication it has served its purpose and should be replaced as soon as possible by social collaboration apps like Circuit.

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About Philipp Bohn

VP Circuit at Unify and CEO of blueKiwi
Philipp is VP Circuit and CEO of blueKiwi Software at Atos. In previous roles at Unify, he worked as Chief of Staff and in strategy planning. As an industry analyst at Berlecon Research, his focus has been on enterprise communication technology and digital media. Philipp holds a degree in business administration from University of Mannheim.

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