That’s long weekend here in the United States, which means office workers get at least three days off from the terrifying encounter. We wanted to take this time to offer a passionate defense of… email.
Hear us out. It is a common belief that meetings are killers of productivity and morale and a happy work environment. So why not write an email?
We know that email has its drawbacks—it’s difficult to manage and full of spam. But as work moves more and more online, it’s better than meetings. Two reset inbox and one Chaos Muppet drowning in notifications – see if you can guess who’s who! — to tell you why.
Ram Iyer: Do you love dating or just hate writing?
When I smoked, I also worked at a publication that had frequent and extremely unproductive meetings. Most of our team of 20+ people would just sit quietly for an hour while someone rattled off something.
If you count wasted man-hours, each of these meetings wastes an average of 20 hours that could be spent doing actual work. They were also unnecessarily stressful: I found myself desperately wanting to smoke after every date, and I wasn’t alone.
Fortunately, this was not always the case. I’ve been fortunate to have worked mostly at companies that fostered a culture of communicating only via email or messaging. But as I’ve heard my friends and former colleagues complain about work over the past few years, I’ve noticed a trend: As the pandemic has sent everyone home, meetings have become more frequent, to the point where people see them as a hindrance to their work.
I’ve often asked this question over the past few years: If it can be email, why isn’t it? Why are people so willing to talk when they can write an email and save everyone’s time?
I think I finally have a theory.