Business Writing Tip #54—Advantages and Disadvantages of Email

Email is very common in business and our personal lives. And it’s often abused.

Some people receive hundreds of emails each week. It’s important to decide if we really want to send an email to communicate something or not. It seems absurd that in some organisations people send emails to the colleague at the desk next to theirs to ask them simple questions.email layout

Don’t get me wrong. Emails are really useful and they have their place. I just want to encourage you to think about your reasons for sending an email before you write one.

Would you be better off having a conversation with the person?

Here are some email advantages and disadvantages to consider:

Advantages

  • Personal
  • Easy to use
  • Can be used within and between organisations
  • Quick
  • Easily accessible even when travelling
  • Easy to file what you receive

Disadvantages

  • Technical problems leading to unexpected non-delivery
  • Size restrictions for attachments
  • Easy to send, resulting in a lot of junk mail
  • Privacy and security considerations
  • Can be sent without giving due consideration to tone

Next time you find yourself typing, “hey, wanna go for lunch today?” to the person at the next desk, or in the next room, why not turn to them, or walk to their office, and ask the question? It’s much more personal and doesn’t clog up email inboxes.

Just saying…

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