Will remote work sign the death of e-mail?

The Gmail home page (illustrative image) (GARETH FULLER / MAXPPP)

Some clues show that companies have switched overwhelmingly and very quickly to a mode of communication other than e-mail since the massive use of teleworking. Last November, the collaborative platform Slack was bought by the American Salesforces, for a record sum of 23.5 million euros. The Canadian-born company is expected to cross the billion dollar revenue mark this year. Its workforce jumped 30% in a few months to reach 2,500 people.

And this Wednesday comes out a survey conducted in six countries with 3,000 company employees, conducted by Slack itself. Half of them believe that another form of digital communication will completely replace email, the good old email, within the next three years. This proportion of those who are preparing to bury e-mail even rises to 60% among IT managers, CIOs. We even find one in ten CIOs to say that this is already the case and that e-mail is already dead and has given way to collaborative tools.

The users of these new messaging services see only advantages. Starting with time. According to this same study, users of the service would gain 90 minutes per day compared to the use of e-mails, or a working day arrived at the end of the week. As a result, more than a third of Slack or Microsoft Teams users would prefer to do without email rather than business messaging. 88% of users of these messaging systems say they are very important or even extremely important to getting their jobs done.

Why such a movement? Because remote work has given way to collaborative work. Email is the office. For fluid working methods, more open modes of communication are needed, which also correspond to a new management style, more horizontal, more participatory. Collaborative platforms are in this spirit. For many, they could even supplant telephone meetings and videoconferences. 40% of users of these new tools think that they could advantageously replace these meetings where everyone must be present at the same time. Moreover, all of the users of these messaging systems want to continue to use them after the pandemic.

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