Collaboration tools can help to reduce email volume by 30% and make it 33% faster for teams to draft documents, thanks to features such as instant messaging or file storage easily shareable cloud. And yet, there are still many who insist that e-mail continues to be the main method of communication, collaboration and sharing of your company.
Already in 2012, Harvard Business Review estimated that workers could increase productivity by 20-25% if they used collaboration tools such as ChatWork, already present in more than 121,000 companies worldwide, as these can accelerate many of the little things Which are constant sources of delays and interruptions at work. Although they have been talking about them for a long time, it seems that is now when companies are really starting to see all their possibilities, possibilities that in the area of leisure and personal relationships have been for years.
Are we facing the decline of the email?
It was not born as such, but e-mail ended up becoming the main communication and collaboration tool, so much so that it is estimated to be the most common form of human-based interaction based on technology. However, there is also a constant background noise that points to his glory days may be coming to an end.
That is also why websites such as Email is not dead, according to which there are more than 4.350 million email accounts in the world and forecasts say we will reach 5.59 billion in 2019, representing a growth of more than 26%.
In addition, and despite the increasing use of instant messaging applications, social networks and other forms of communication, e-mail continues to show the most consistent growth, since not surprisingly many of the collaboration tools require an email account to Be able to register and use them.
Gossip, conversation threads and other time wasters
However, the truth is that managing email and the inbox remains an arduous task for most people. So much so that e-mail has also become a fantastic waste of time.
There are several studies that come to show this feeling. One of them, carried out by a security company and archiving, Mimecast, concluded that only one in four emails work is essential and that only one in three has an immediate value.
Put another way: we can lose 100 hours of work every year simply by managing the email. You can do some quick and simple calculations of how much money that translates to (it’s almost a whole month of work). Now you can multiply it by the number of workers in a company and we can conclude that email costs a lot of money, in addition to effort.
ChatWork figures in 3 hours which each employee dedicates each day to manage the email. A figure that would be lowered to 0.2 hours with the use of collaborative solutions.
Of security, we do not even talk
In addition, e-mail remains an important part of the security issues that lurk all users in general and businesses in particular.
Beyond if mail is by nature insecure, Symantec’s Internet Security Report 2016 confirms that e-mail remains the medium chosen by cybercriminals to commit their misdeeds. Spam accounts for more than half of incoming email traffic.
Phishing attacks are becoming more specific and malicious emails have grown in number and complexity. “E-mail continues to be an effective medium for cybercriminals,” Symantec concludes.
The high price of not finding the information
Converted into an information repository and with so many threads of conversation, it can be difficult to find something in the email.
According to an IDC report, the cost of not finding information can be $ 3,300 per employee per year in ineffective searches, poor access tools, having to reshape data, reviews, and other tasks.
Also, at a time when work teams do not have to be in the same physical location (maybe or hourly), have a common and digital meeting point where it is easy to keep track of the tasks and where all the information Is handy it seems basic.
With a good online collaboration tool, documents are always available and annotations and document changes can be made, notifying all team members of changes made. This also prevents having to send the latest version of each file by email and makes it easier for everyone involved to have access to the latest update.
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Social yes, but corporate too
The true collaboration improves the competitiveness of businesses and companies, among other reasons because it allows better communication and better work processes between employees, external partners, consultants, etc.
Cloud-based collaboration solutions have the ability to integrate information, reach a large number of people, capture and share knowledge. But if we do not want to lose sight of security, these tools must have the approval of the company.
Not surprisingly, these applications in the cloud have raised what is known as Shadow IT – or technologies in the shadow – utilities that are used by employees but not authorized by the systems department. The most classic example is that of cloud storage or the use of personal mail for labor issues.
As early as 2013 a survey said that 80% of employees acknowledged using cloud applications without the company’s consent. A response that, in many cases, occurs when email is a tool too slow for communication. Social networks and applications for file sharing, storage and backup are, due to the long response times generated by email, the most used.
Before Shadow IT you can do two things: block access to these services in the cloud or adopt those tools that rely on and develop certain usage policies.
That is why, in front of applications that do not have to have the support of the company, this type of collaboration tools combine that social part that likes the employees with the security that many companies demand for their communications.
Why did it take us so long to get here?
The truth is that collaboration tools are nothing new. We could even say that the origin of them is in the intranets.
But it is true that in recent months there is a clear trend towards this type of tools. So much so that this industry is a rapidly developing sector and every year new names appear with the promise of changing the way we work and communicate.
The adoption of these collaboration tools also shows signs of strength. The global market for cloud collaboration applications is projected to reach $5.9 billion by the end of 2018.
But there are also certain drawbacks that have to be taken into account before betting on these types of solutions. For example, many companies are concerned about intellectual property issues and the confidentiality of information, especially as we can allow access to this information to external collaborators.
In addition, for more than eight in 10 respondents surveyed by Harvard Business Review Analytics, collaboration is vital to achieving the goals of their organizations. But it seems that the proliferation of web-based tools is hampering productivity and increasing costs rather than achieving expected benefits.
Collaboration does not stop you from doing your job
We even begin to talk about collaborative overload, which is the result of our excessive dependence on emails, meetings and other collaborative tools that, ironically, have limited our ability to do things.
As companies become more global and diverse, they need to connect more and more people. It is true that there are many positive aspects to increase collaboration, but also some drawbacks: that if employees collaborate, they stop doing their jobs and the items on the to-do list only increase.
In this sense, new digital and social tools can help create conversation spaces where the most common questions have answers or discussions can be held on key topics, where some can respond and others can see, learn and reuse without interrupting the expert. ChatWork is one of the answers to the problem: it includes instant messaging, task management, video calling and file storage in the cloud with a capacity of up to 10 GB.
That is, one of the keys of these collaboration tools to be effective and productive is to accompany them with good and effective rules and policies of use so that they do not end up being used as electronic mail: as a mere system of communication and sharing Memes and other files.
According to ChatWork data, if used efficiently, thanks to the collaboration tools we can reduce the daily meeting time from 2 to 0.6 hours and calls from 1 to 0.4 hours. Although the management of these tools entails 1.6 hours of work, with them we can increase from 2 real hours of effective work to 5.2 each day.