Paradigms of Email

  Sir Radfordin 10:01 21 Apr 2004

What do people think about the following?

(Note: This is in reference to use of email within a business though does include non-work use, and NOT the use of email by an individual in their own time!)

1) Email is an essential business tool that must be provided to employees if a company is going to be able to compete. The costs are of little significance as there are always greater benefits.

2) Email is a quick and efficient method of communication. Incoming messages should be dealt with as they arrive and it is acceptable to expect a prompt and accurate response to messages sent.

3) The risks in terms of security breaches, viruses and spam need to be controlled but do not significantly reduce the usefulness of email.

4) People already know how to communicate both verbally and in written from and so should be able to adapt to using email. There is not a need to train people in the use of the medium or is it a requirement to educate them on the use of the ‘tool’ that email has become. 10:13 21 Apr 2004

1) Agree
2)The employer should know the workload that is place on employees so they should be able to gauge if this is a reasonable statement. My husband (for eg) is not able to reply in a timely fashion to the hundreds of e-mails that he receives daily at work, & do his job as well as he does! However a good employee should be able to prioritise!
3) Agreed
4) Disagree, training is needed in order to use e-mail facilities to best potential (not in all cases but in some). It shouldn't be presumed that people are comfortable with this media.

  Simsy 10:29 21 Apr 2004


2)A qualified perhaps! My employer is huge. I recently had 2 weeks away. When I came back I had almost 200 emails waiting for me. Non of them were "spam", (in the commonly accepted sense of the word). It took me over an hour and a half to open them and check whether they were relevant to me. Many of them were internal mass mailings that meant nothing to me at all. Less than a dozen did I get any useful information from.

3)Agreed, (without having given this a lot of thought.

4)Completely disagree! As can often be seen, for example, on the pages of this site, many people write something that comes over as having a completely different meaning to that which was intended. This has, in my personal experience, led to problems. Just missing out the word, "not", for example, changes the meaning of something completely. If the same message was verbal the inflection and body language would probably convey the correct message, even if the wrong words were used. Also, "Outlook" is much more than an email tool. It requires training of folk in it's use for the best to be made of it.

Well, that's my tuppence worth!



  Sir Radfordin 11:40 21 Apr 2004

Thanks for those comments so far.

My reason for making point 4 is that I am yet to meet someone who has had training in how email should be used (beyond the very basics of sending/receiving). But at the same time nearly everyone I speak to thinks that they should have had some training.

  VoG II 12:56 21 Apr 2004

1) Agree.

2) Definitely. I get very annoyed when business e-mails go unanswered for weeks on end.

3) Agree.

4) Training in using the e-mail program is important. I have a certificate in my ISO 9001 training folder! I don't think that training is required in how to compose an e-mail; only on the necessity to reply promptly (even if only a "holding" message).

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