If you already start working on Monday worried about the amount of emails waiting in your inbox it's very likely that this is damaging the team collaboration in your company.
Email has become the official means of day-to-day communication for most professionals, but the recent growth of remote work has led more and more companies to question its efficiency. After all, about 27% of American workers have between 10 and 49 unread emails in their inbox, as a study conducted by YouGov says. And each email means an interruption in the workflow and some minutes that are required to address the it.
Answer now or later? To whom should I forward this message? In which email do I find that attached file? These questions have a negative impact on the team management of any company, especially on time and productivity.
There is no doubt that the way we work is undergoing profound changes. Gradually all companies are coming to the same conclusion: building efficient communication is crucial to making team collaboration simple and uncomplicated.
In this content you will get insights into the future of work, how to improve team performance, simplify team collaboration and learn why eliminating email is the inevitable solution to increase your company's productivity.
Remote working: the future scenario demands efficient team collaboration
If the demand for flexibility has increased, the need for upgrading has exploded. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, the global pandemic forced 83% of companies to switch for remote work and accelerated the digitalization process of 84% of them.
Managing a remote team has become a hot topic in the market because it directly affects team performance and brings a decisive question to many managers: how to keep efficiency high and team collaboration flowing without a physical office?
The answer to this question is in a simple but challenging decision: by eliminating email. Before this sounds too disruptive or experimental, it is important to realize that this change was already being discussed by several companies long before the pandemic. In 2011, for example, information technology company Atos Origin revoked the internal use of email because they realized it had caused a negative impact on their team performance.
You have probably heard about email anxiety, an increasingly common phenomenon where email notifications leave employees anxious and stressed. It is a fact that many managers are realizing that email creates messy information and is simply not the best option for those who wish to have high performing teams.
How does email hinder team collaboration?
Do you often need to take time out of your day only to check new emails and clear space in your inbox? You may not notice it throughout the day, but email consumes up to 23% of your working time. You are probably receiving an email right now while you are reading this paragraph, not to mention the dozens of notifications in other parallel communication tools such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram and so on.
Researchers at the University of California decided to put into practice the theory that email negatively influenced performance teams. By removing this tool from the daily routine of the study volunteers, they saw the time dedicated to their demands grow. In addition, another research from the same university showed that, on average, it takes us 23 minutes to regain our focus after an interruption.
You don't have to go too far in math to understand that "one minute answering this notification here" is never really one minute, right? In other words, if you want fluid communication, whether working remotely or in the office, it's time to say goodbye to email and that anxiety of opening your crowded inbox.
How to have high performing teams working remotely without email?
Managing a remote team is not exactly an easy task, especially when we were caught by surprise with Covid-19. Even companies that were already working with global teams were forced to review concepts and practices of communication with the teams completely working remotely.
Companies began to seek more and more team collaboration tools, once they understood that decentralized and disorganized communication directly impacts the teams' productivity. As the report by the World Economic Forum points out, organizations that operate in complex structures with multi-layers of communication are the ones that should suffer most to adapt to the new scenario.
Remote collaboration demands more assertive communication, especially in times like these. More and more companies have found in technology the solution for team collaboration. With the right team collaboration tool it is possible to recreate all the benefits of the physical office and add them to a data organization that only the digital space can offer.
Eliminate email by choosing the right team collaboration tool
Online team collaboration tools have shown that it is possible to increase the productivity of companies through a more simplified workflow. The trend is that companies' communication becomes more and more vertical, without the need for CC and BCC or even alternating between screens for calls and video conferences since these tools unite all of them in one place.
One of these online team collaboration tools is Rocket.Chat, a Brazilian communication platform that has grown more and more among the American public. Known for its high level of security, Rocket.Chat has attracted organizations that deal with ultra-sensitive information such as Samsung, Intel, and the US Navy.
Rocket.Chat allows you to improve your internal communication flow by separating conversations in topics and not by people, organizing threads, discussions, private messages and much more. The platform does all this with high information security, with the possibility of providing different levels of access.
The pandemic has indeed shown that remote work does not hinder company productivity, but that it is necessary to invest in assistive technologies to improve team collaboration. No wonder security and data infrastructure have become a hot topic and have caught the attention of global companies. The latest Gartner report in October predicts that global spending on data centers should grow by about 6% in 2021, even with the drop in investment caused by the pandemic.
Some experts even risk that, within five years, employees will be able to put on a VR(virtual reality) headset and log into a completely virtual office environment. While they are not created, let's talk about how to make team collaboration efficient by eliminating emails from your company.
How to redesign your workspace in order to increase your team's productivity
Imagine the following scenario. You turn on your computer on Monday to start the week with that important kick-off of the new project. You need the notes from the last meeting, so you send a WhatsApp text message to your coworker. "Sure, I just sent it to your email!" and there you go leaping through lots of screens looking for that document.
We are inserted and used to this culture of "the more tools the better" that we barely realize how chaotic and disorganized internal communication is and how damaging it is to team collaboration. Email, copy, hidden copy, Google Drive presentations that were sent by WhatsApp and need a Soundcloud extension in another window... total chaos.
By the end of the day, you realize that searching and putting together different pieces of information takes up a lot of your time. If only you could visualize every demand, project and their respective files in one place...
This was one of the main reasons that made KingHost rethink the way they had been designing its workflow. For over 13 years in the market, the technology company is known for providing website and e-commerce hosting, email marketing, marketing automation, and other digital solutions.
KingHost was one of the companies that realized how email generated endless threads and internal communication problems. In 2016, in search of a tool that would bring more agility in responses, KingHost invested in a messaging tool that used the XMPP protocol.
However, the alternative did not bring good results since the protocol allowed only individual conversations and made team collaboration complicated and not fluid at all.
70% decrease in email and fewer meetings
After having Rocket.Chat adopted by nearly 100% of the company, they reduced by 70% the time spent in discussions through email and other tools centralizing their conversations in Rocket.Chat. You can read more on KingHost’s results here.
Rocket.Chat’s integrations also made it possible to manage information quickly and efficiently in an organized manner. Webhooks were created to let teams know about important topics. Even their Quality Management department (QA) gained new ways to be updated about changes quickly.
It seems crazy to imagine the long e-mail threads we had before Rocket.Chat. The platform quickly became our primary communication hub to centralize team collaboration and get things done.
Alessandro HuberIT Supervisor at KingHost
You may find it hard to imagine your work routine without email, but don't be fooled by the familiarity of this tool. On average, we spend 28% of our week time managing our inbox, according to a study by McKinsey. This represents a significant slice of your time that could be completely dedicated to boosting your productivity or even having less amount of work to be done.
Here are some insights on how to streamline your communication and boost the productivity of your team, making them focus on topics and demands that really matter.
Tips on making your communication more efficient by using the right team collaboration tool
1) Integrate software and apps for better data management
After meeting Rocket.Chat, the KingHost IT team decided to test the platform to see how secure it was (we’ll get to its security later in this article) and also how the employees would adapt to it. They verified that, besides having all the basic tools needed to conduct a remote work routine (such as video calls, audios and more), the platform also gave them the possibility of combining different ways of sharing in a single screen.
It didn't take long for Rocket.Chat to become KingHost’s official team collaboration software, being adopted by all teams. They all soon realized that the time they spent on email and other communication tools decreased drastically by 70%.
Rocket.Chat has a wide list of apps in its marketplace to increase the quality of your team's workflow with the app your company needs. With the right integrations, you automate processes and promote high performing teams.
2) Organize team collaboration through channels
We live in a time where we are bombed by emails daily; that is a fact. But how important are these emails? A survey conducted by Atos Consulting showed that 74% of employees feel that they received too many emails, but the surprise is to note that only 15% of them were considered really useful.
Simplifying your company's communication can be a way simpler task than you think. One of the team collaboration features of Rocket.Chat can organize everything through channels. You can create channels for projects, departments, hobbies, finally, it’s completely up to you.
Besides that you can also:
- Insert all the related files, people involved, links, and have everything you need in one place in the channels. One quick look at the channels will give you an overview of how the project is going instead of sending an email asking for your team’s updates or even looking for outdated information in your inbox;
- If a collaborator joins a new project he finds the channel completely supplied with data that will help him/her to become updated with the demands.
- Also, if someone leaves the project, the information doesn't die or forever get locked up in their inbox; it stays alive in the software.
Instead of endless email discussions and attachments that are hard to find, Rocket.Chat's communication channels allow real-time communication for teams to collaborate from any location, making it an efficient platform for teams that are working remotely.
This team collaboration tool also allows you to create Private Groups, send direct messages and create threads within channels. For example, you can create a channel to talk to the team in charge of designing the new company website. Within this channel, you can create a thread to discuss the images, talk exclusively about content, and just about the videos on the site.
You can also include relevant participants in channels using @username mention to notify them instantly. If you want to make an important announcement to everyone in the group, just use @all:
You can create channels for projects, departments, hobbies, you decide.
3) Keep communication with customers up-to-date with omnichannel
As important as establishing organized internal communication is keeping clients engaged. According to a study by McKinsey, more than 60% of global consumers changed their shopping behavior in 2020. This change highlights the importance of having efficient digital communication channels for customer relationships.
If you are interested in increasing sales and customer retention you must have heard of omnichannel. Designed to create a unique and consistent customer experience, omnichannel is a communication strategy that allows customers to get in touch with companies on their favorite channels.
You may also like: How to improve customer relationship by using an omnichannel platform
If you struggle when dealing with customers in different communication channels, implementing omnichannel customer experience is the answer. Companies using omnichannel strategy achieve 91% greater year-over-year customer retention rates, as indicated by a survey conducted by Aberdeen.
Rocket.Chat allows you to serve customers, partners and social media fans without leaving the platform. You can centralize your communication by integrating it with different communication channels such as:
- Live chat;
- SMS and more.
Whenever someone from your team starts a conversation with a customer, information about that user is available and stored in Rocket.Chat. This means that other agents who serve this same customer in the future will have a history of their information, offering a better omnichannel customer experience.
You can learn here what omnichannel is and why it’s so crucial for businesses.
4) Exchange information safely in an open-source environment
McKinsey conducted a survey with 800 executives to try to understand the disruptive changes that covid-19 will bring to the job market. 68% of them said they will invest in Technology and Automation and hire more people for this segment.
This concern that was already growing before the pandemic has now turned crucial with the new configurations of remote work. The home of each team member has become an extension of the physical office and team management has gained a new challenge: how to maintain secure internal data communication?
Each team member started to use not only their own computer but also residential internet networks that can put corporate information at risk. Even the most popular tools like WhatsApp have been proved to be problematic. Just before the pandemic, for example, a security breach in WhatsApp Desktop allowed hackers to access files on MacOS or Windows through a text message.
One of the reasons that led the US Navy and thousands of other companies to choose Rocket.Chat as a team collaboration software was its open source codebase. This means that there is a global community of developers who continually work to improve the platform's code, which is public, making Rocket.Chat a very difficult team collaboration tool to hack.
Currently the Rocket.Chat community has over 12 million active members around the world. These developers are always looking into the code and avoiding data leaks so this constant check makes the workspace highly safe for communication, both internal and external.
In addition to this, communication within Rocket.Chat includes end-to-end encryption and 2-factor authentication. The platform has already been implemented in the most rigorous digital environments, supporting compliance with GDPR, HIPAA and more.
Best practices for a better flow of team collaboration
Since 45% of the Rocket.Chat team is working remotely, we use the platform to maintain a high performing team and facilitate our daily workflow. Now that you’ve just learned how to better organize the communication flow, here are some practical tips on how we use Rocket.Chat to improve team collaboration in our daily lives.
- When important topics come up, star messages that are relevant for you and pin relevant content for the channel members. Avoid missing what needs to be found quickly;
- As we said previously, you can tag people names to get their attention or @all if everyone in that channel should be read that;
- One of the things that are often helpful is chatbots. They can automate processes, bring task updates, product stats, alert about new leads, ask about people’s mood, create random interactions between company employees and much more;
- Let your team know about your availability through your status. You could also use it to express your mood for the day, so that makes everything funnier. Besides adding a note, you can also change between online, away, busy and invisible.
You can also check our blog post “How Rocket.Chat collaborates remotely”, which brings these and many more tips to help you when managing a remote team.
So long email: it’s a new era for structured workflow
The bottom line is: the era of structured workflow is here and this is the time to redesign the way your company is communicating. Technology is a great ally and it can help reduce our amount of work and give us more quality time.
Technology can be an enormous enabler if you look at it in the right way. It doesn't have to replace jobs – it can actually help humans to be more productive.
Feeling lost in how to transition your operation to online? Looking for high security while running your business online? Rocket.Chat is committed to providing remote work best practices to its community. Schedule a live demo today!