How do you feel about using email for work? Do you love communicating via email or absolutely hate it? How do you feel about the number of emails you get during the day? What would you prefer to use instead of emailing?

These are some questions fielded at the LinkedIn ether, and the responses I received back were interesting and polarizing based on the industry. I’ve broken down some key differentiating factors and insights below.

To email or not to email? That is the question.

Email seems to be an avenue for sending out broader messages, but if you’re looking for a timely response, you might as well just ping your coworkers. The benefit of emails was that they were more searchable, easy to forward/CC others, and you have control over their end of life (vs ping messages that may get deleted after 30 days). For reaching a broader group of collaborators, social work postings were the way to go, as they enabled collaboration without the bloat of an email group thread.

Regardless of the negative feedback about email, it is still a huge component of business, with millions of companies investing in the email hosting market. The top three companies with market share are shown below, and the visual gives a perspective on the sheer number of companies relying on email hosting services.

Source: “Email Hosting Market Share” 2021. Datanyze.

Emailing and company transparency can be at odds.

Emails are currently used for more private types of communication, and although can be broadly shared, lack some of the visibility that individuals are wanting to see regarding key decisions and workflows. Some companies are opting for posting in more public/semi-public workgroups rather than in private emails.

New work collaboration sites are a growing substitute.

Individuals are migrating their corporate communication to more interactive and direct-to-the-source approaches. This means communicating right on documents, whether in Google Docs or Microsoft OneDrive files. Collaborative software like Slack and Teams make a one-stop-shop for individuals to communicate with others while contributing content and are becoming the preferred way of collaborating for many individuals. Major players in the team’s collaboration tool market are shown below.

Source: “Team Collaboration Tools Market: Growth, Trends, Forecasts (2021–2026).” , Mordor Intelligence.

Big picture, email is not disappearing any time soon, but new substitutes are taking over the market share of corporate communication. Individuals are preferring sleeker ways to communicate and collaborate with others in an efficient manner. The future is seamless communication, visibility to ideas, and effective collaborative tools that enable innovation. So either emailing becomes optimized for collaboration or the industry will shift with preference.

Critical thinker, problem solver, and engineer passionate about educating and empowering others.