43% of UK businesses are considering replacing email as the main platform for employee communications once the lockdown lifts.
This is according to the results of a poll conducted by Censuswide on behalf of the think tank Parliament Street, which was published today.
Companies are instead considering replacing email with apps and instant messaging software such as Slack, which have seen a surge in popularity during this period of remote working.
63% of companies have increased IT spending to improve the user-friendliness of employee communications during lockdown, augmenting email with more modern solutions in order to keep staff updated.
Half of those surveyed also plan to continue with a complete remote working model, with many planning to allow employees to choose whether they want to return to the office or continue to work from home.
Email loses favour for employee communications as remote work increases need for immediacy
The move away from email, particularly for employee communications, reflects a growing need for communication methods that are more immediate and foster a more rapid back-and-forth that better reflects the in-office experience.
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“There will always be a purpose for email in the workplace. However, it is now one of many tools to communicate and people can decide which is best to use based on the context of what they are trying to achieve,” said Sridhar Iyengar, MD of Zoho Corporation.
“Other tools include cloud-based communication channels such as real-time chats, which can be included within documents that employees are working on collectively, and other applications that enable more efficient communication and collaboration.
“With remote working more widespread than ever, it is inevitable that these new communication methods, which instigate faster decisions, more streamlined processes, and instant approvals, are superseding email in many cases as preferred tools for employee communication. Not all communication is needed to be in real-time, but these other channels can do a better job of replicating the speed of in-person office work when more timely responses are required.”