Email Culture at Work

When I think about other people and what their email-at-work situation is like, I imagine them on email threads with their co-workers and responding to requests from their bosses or managers.

But I wonder how accurate that is? Is that just some weird manifestation of my mind? I’ve literally never had a professional job like that.

At my current job at CodePen, if I’m talking with co-workers it’s either:

  • On Zoom
  • In Slack
  • Documents/comments in Notion
  • On GitHub (which might produce emails and/or Slack notifications)

Nobody emails me like “Hey where is that TPS report?”

It’s not that email isn’t involved, it’s just different. It might be from other companies we work with. A response to a support request at our payroll company. Coordinating a quarterly meeting with investors. Emailing a related company to brainstorm integration ideas. There is just literally near-zero communication via email among co-workers.

So that’s something I am going to want to learn more about — how much of people’s email load is from internal communications from where they work? If someone feels overwhelmed and bummed out by email, is that the major cause?

2 responses to “Email Culture at Work”

  1. No doubt varies a lot by industry. I work in a government health service and probably 95% of communication is via email.

  2. First of all, love your blog (is it a blog? anyway, love it). I work as a middle level manager in an international IT company with 10K+ employees, and email, along with zoom and the company chat, are our main communication tools. We also have JIRA, but it generates an email with every reply, so I almost count it as email. As a not-exactly-customer-facing person, 90% of my email is internal, and email is 75% of all communication I am involved in. Or more. Email is much more convenient for keeping track of discussions that you might need to remember later; it’s easier to broadcast major notifications through email; notifications from various systems like customer portals come through email; and, of course, we communicate with clients directly through email, too.
    We know the drawbacks of email well; we do not rely on it for anything urgent, and we know that you can’t count on anyone to read all their email, so if you want to make sure your message is read, you follow up in chat or with a phone call.
    We might be old-fashioned, but to us, email is the easiest formal communication that’s already set up. Chats are for quick things, documents are for long term things, email is for anything in between.

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