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According to some news reports, teens and the tech-savvy don't care for email so much these days. Some recent headlines may even have you think that the death of email is imminent, now that social networking, instant messaging, texting, and other tools are ever-present.
We see evidence every day, however, that email is still a key means of communication. Rather than rely on our own experience, we asked MarketTools Inc., to help us understand the use of email, social tools, and other means of communication in the office by conducting an independent online survey of 1,268 professionals and students, age 18 and older. Here's what we found out in the research:
1. People still rely heavily on email, at least for work.
According to the research, 96 percent (and 92 percent of 18-24 year olds) said they expect their email communication in the workplace to increase or to stay the same over the next five years.
Fifty-three percent consider email the most effective method of communication with colleagues, even beating out face-to-face meetings and instant messaging (49 percent and 42 percent respectively).
For personal use, those surveyed said they expect email will play an important part of their communication mix.
2. People now regularly use multiple communication tools aside from email.It's no surprise that texting, social media, voice-over IP, web conferencing, and instant messaging are playing a growing role in personal and business communications. Yet just as email didn’t kill the telephone and video didn't kill the radio, newer messaging tools won't kill email. In fact, the survey tells us that the overall volume of communication is increasing.The real debate is not whether we’ll use email in the future, but what are the best tools for a given conversation? If I need a quick response from a customer or colleague, I might first pick up my phone or send a text message. If I want to share something with several people, I might use my Facebook account to send a group message and link. If I have a longer message to send or need a record of the conversation, email gives me that virtual paper trail. Increasing choice in our communication tool set is helping us all become more productive.
3. Integrating email with other communications tools is the wave of the future.As our communication tool set expands, there will also be an increasing need to bring together different communications. Going to multiple locations to access various email accounts, find contacts, or check social media updates can be tedious. In fact, more than 55 percent of respondents said they would use a tool that brings together email, calendar, voicemail, social media, text, and instant messaging into one location. Outlook is increasingly becoming that communications hub for so many people. It not only enables you to access all of your email accounts and schedules, but also gives you social media updates from friends and colleagues, text messages, and voicemails in one place. In fact, it’s interesting to see how Outlook has evolved since its introduction in 1997 to keep up with changing trends and technologies.
Click the graphic below to see a full timeline of email. It will take you back.
So what do you think? Are the days of email really over, as this reporter opines?
--Takeshi Numoto, Corporate Vice President, Office
To learn more about how to get the most out of Outlook, visit: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook and follow us here on the Outlook blog to get regular tips and tricks: http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft-outlook/
Communication is getting more and more overwhelming. Don't tolerate an overflowing inbox today! Check out my recent blog post on a recipe for a near zero inbox http://bit.ly/iICthl
This is very interesting data. Can you provide me with more details about this survey?
@KyleCopeland - Thanks for the link to your post. Love the tips for getting to Near Zero Inbox!
@jpearson - Sure, here's more detail on the survey conducted by MarketTools.
- Surveyed 1, 268 Information Workers, defined as using a PC as part of their job (full or part-time employed).
- This also included working students in the 18-24 year old range.
- The online survey was fielded 3/31/11 – 4/8/11
Hope that helps!
@AmandaL@Microsoft - My Pleasure. One of these days there will be the perfect solution to all of this. Sometimes the simplest answer is the right one - My hope is that folks will fall back to talking to people in person :-)
@KyleCopeland. I like the approach, and have developed a simiar approach called PIFEM (Pay It Forward Email Management). Flags and Search are key to prioritising and managing stuff you can't accomplish immediately. My approach is specific to Outlook 2007 and 2010 features. blogs.msdn.com/.../pifem-2010-the-best-way-to-manage-lots-of-email-in-outlook-2010.aspx
Can you provide some breakdown of the demographics of the respondents? (age, gender, vertical industry, nationality/location)
Thanks Amanda. One more question: was this US based? Thanks!
Just following up again on this. Was it US based? Thanks so much, very interesting.