Abolishing Email?

By Deane Barker on July 23, 2008

Memorandum to All Employees: A fictional memo to the employees of a fictional company.

Beginning August 1st, you will no longer be able to send an e-mail to another employee of our organization. After some study, we have concluded that such e-mails are almost never the most efficient or effective way to obtain, provide or exchange information. In fact, we estimate that as much as 20% of our employees’ time is wasted reading, writing and answering e-mails, beyond the time that it would take to communicate the same information using more appropriate means.

The whole thing is…interesting. I think it goes a little far, but it’s a sentiment I think I lot of people share.

Personally, I use email to avoid human contact. In another company I worked at, I would send an email to a certain project manager. Ten seconds later, my phone would ring and it was her. I wanted to scream into the phone: “Do you realize sent you an email precisely because I didn’t want to talk to you!?”



  1. Hmmm. Who could you be talking about?

    I get emails from the project manager that sits in my cube eight feet behind me. She could just as easily ask me without picking up the phone or even turning around. Wonder what that says about me.

  2. I use email so I don’t have to take notes, and so I won’t be “misunderstood”; also so I have an aid to memory when the subject comes back up 6 months ago, or if I need to talk to multiple people simultaneously. I hate phone conversations because it has none of those

  3. I’m with Ian there.

    I think email is very useful because it lets both parties respond when it’s convenient to them and their mind is on the subject at hand. Phone calls or desk visits, on the other hand, are very disruptive to any other task that person might be doing or concentrating on. I tend to save those for when I need something right away so I don’t jerk concentration away from someone.

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