I recently heard an argument that email should continue to fade away in lieu of apps like Slack, which make for much more seamless communication. It’s a good consideration.
However, part of his argument related to acknowledging receipt of a message or small task. If you send someone an email with info, they’ll often reply with a short message like “thanks”, which adds a good bit of overhead to deal with a bunch of “thanks” emails throughout your week. However, if you send that same info on Slack, they might give your message a thumbs-up emoji to acknowledge it. That’s not bad, but there is a big difference.
With email, you’ll see the response.
With Slack, it’s easy to miss. Those emojis don’t give a notification, so you have to dig in a little bit to see if there was a response.
Which is better?
It’s hard to say. My initial response was email, as it’s a clear indication of a response that you won’t miss. However, it’s also a handful of clicks to open, view, and then archive the email away. With Slack, you just need to glance at the message to see the status.
This may seem trivial, but we have dozens of these types of conversations each day. Even at just a few seconds each, it adds up to many hours over the course of a year.
I think the answer here is situational, but I’m leaning more toward Slack for more of these kinds of things. This ultimately comes down to some companies that are creating policies of “no internal email” — if you need to talk to someone on your team, use Slack. I’m not fully there yet, but I get where they’re coming from. What do you think?