Gen Z hates email — but so do the rest of us

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS



Eww got mail.

Gen Z workers have been blamed for trying to change everything from office dress codes to working beyond their pay grade, but clearing their inbox for good seems to be something the whole office can get behind.

OnePoll and Slack surveyed 8,000 small-business employees in the United States and the United Kingdom about their office communication preferences — and it’s clear we’re ready for change.

A full 50% of employees, it turns out, would prefer their company transition away from email completely, substituting other forms of communication like Microsoft Teams or Slack.

Dealing with email, 57% of respondents said, was a “menial task” that slowed them down from doing their real work.

The average employee surveyed spent more than an entire working day per week drafting emails, but complained that few recipients actually read them.

The research showed that 57% said they won’t finish reading an email that’s “too long,” or eight or more sentences.

Eight times a day, they’ll just ignore or delete an email, depending on the subject line.

Half of employees would prefer their company transition from email to other forms of communication. Adobe Stock

Email haters cited frustrations over emails not being answered, being addressed by the wrong name, and having to answer the same questions over again, as information is lost. These might seem like normal workplace complaints to some, but the inefficiency of email is often unacceptable to younger workers.

“Many of Gen Zer’s careers started in a virtual world, where everyone was always ‘available’, even at home. Therefore, many Gen Zers are conditioned to work in an environment where anyone can be contacted at any time, and responses are expected more rapidly,” twenty-six-year-old content creator and start-up advisor Natalie Marshall, a.k.a. Corporate Natalie, explained to The Post.

About 57% of respondents admitted they won’t finish reading an email that’s “too long”—eight or more sentences and eight times a day, they’ll just ignore or delete an email depending on the subject line. Tetiana – stock.adobe.com

But it’s not just the digital natives who are are glued to their phones. Most people are increasingly accustomed to the immediacy and ease of instant messages — compared to the labor and formality of email.

“In a world where everything moves quickly and everyone’s holding their phones, it often feels more efficient to direct message,” Marshall, who was listed on Forbes 30 Under 30, said.

“Many Gen Zers are conditioned to work in an environment where anyone can be contacted at any time, and responses are expected more rapidly,” Natalie Marshall, a.k.a. Corporate Natalie, explained to The Post. Shutterstock

Farhad Divecha, the 40-something owner and managing director of marketing agency AccuraCast, told The Guardian even he “rarely” turns to email if something requires speed.

“I tend to send a [Microsoft] Teams message, or even WhatsApp if it’s really urgent,” he said. “I might send an email with details, but over the past three to five years I’ve learned that email’s just not good enough if you want something done quickly.”

While many are ready to stop relying on emails as their main source of work communication, some do note that switching to instant messaging may make it more difficult to step away from work and manage a healthy work-life balance.

Marshall noted that “the increased use of instant messaging in the workplace has the potential to lead employees to feel like they can’t quite ‘log off’ from their jobs,” which is already a problem for many and may lead to burnout.

To avoid that, burnout coach Gabriela Flax recommends creating a “focus mode” on your phone, where you’ll only see the most important notifications — email, Slack, or otherwise.



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