With e-mail now touted as an integral part of day-to-day communications, email hosting platforms are continuing to expand. From simple mailing features, e-mail messages have evolved to perform multiple functionalities including being able to search through and store data with ease. And the next big evolution in e-mail will be the seamless integration of social media, according to experts.
According to a recent report from Mimecast which surveyed 2,500 information workers in the U.S., U.K. and South Africa, on average an information worker uses e-mail for four hours per day.
Information workers’ reliance on e-mail is turning them into “Inbox Workers,” or people who spend who spend a majority of their time checking e-mail and social media at work. Additionally, this type of worker uses the inbox as a default file server and search tool and no longer just a tool for sending and receiving messages. An Inbox Worker’s e-mail account is their default way of storing, filing and searching for documents or information.
According to the study titled, “Shape of Email", e-mail systems are rarely designed for rapid searching so these searches take two minutes on average, suggesting a lack of intelligence in the search process and waste of time. Despite this, almost half or nearly 49 percent of survey participants believe e-mail is reducing the need for other file storage systems.
Further, findings show that the use of work e-mail has been unaffected by social media. E-mail is still preferred over social media for all forms of workplace collaboration including documentation exchange, arranging a meeting, requesting information and sharing views and opinions.
Inbox Workers’ over dependence on e-mail can give rise to bad corporate behavior. While 39 percent of information workers regularly send and receive workplace e-mail outside of working hours, 25 percent of e-mail users admit that they have sent important messages late in the evening purely to “show commitment.” Other such habits include sending inappropriate e-mail, deleting important mail, and reading other people’s inbox messages.
While 32 percent of IT teams believe that social tools have reduced the need for e-mail when communicating with colleagues, only 24 percent of information workers agreed. And while 30 percent of IT managers agree that social media has impacted the need for e-mail when dealing with customers, just 22 percent of users felt the same.
Mimecast is the email hosting provider behind this study and provides cloud-based e-mail archiving, continuity and security for major platforms such as Microsoft Exchange, Hosted Exchange and Office 365.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein