Hi +Paul Jones
, this is, indeed, a very interesting and rather thought provoking article you have put together referencing the original Fast Company piece as well as other interesting tidbits. And you bring in a very good point that initiatives like that one ( #noemail
days) may well be just putting more lipstick on the pig, but still a pig, nonetheless, because people will just simply postpone their messaging exchanges for a later time / day.
However, and while in most cases it would end up like that, in my experience there is something in there, with all of these initiatives, that most other people are ignoring / neglecting: they know email is broken and they are trying to do something new / different
. They are trying to find better ways, new ways of sharing openly their knowledge, of improving how they collaborate and help one another and so forth. But instead of doing it jumping off the cliff with no safety net, they provide one, just in case
That's not necessarily bad per se, because that safety net into the unknown, the uncertain, the we are not really sure how this is going to work
is going to be needed at the initial stages. It's like having an open pilot when implementing an ESN wanting to ensure people have an option to back out if they find it rather intimidating, uncomfortable or cumbersome to keep up with.
The reality is that a good number of those who try out these new initiatives, now matter how simple or complex they may well be, they realise throughout that experience / initiative that things can
change and be different. That things can improve, that they can increase their levels of effectiveness and efficiency, and eventually get more work done in a more open, collaborative and social manner, not relying so much on email exchanges, but on social tools (mostly), never mind talking to people face to face or via the phone (rather useful options as well!).
What I like about the article itself though is not necessarily just the initiative itself, but the underlying message of challenging the status quo of email at work
, because we know there is a problem, and we need to fix it. And pronto!
Most other orgs. are still in full throttle trying to reach Inbox Zero when, all along, we all know it's just a myth. And a painful one, too, where most knowledge workers keep justifying their own work by the amount of emails they send AND receive! And last time I checked, hard working professionals never had in their contracts working 4 to 5 hours per day on their Inbox as part of their work, so why do we keep pushing up that alley when we all know it's a dead end?
I keep seeing those initiatives, more and more by the day, as an opportunity to break the chain, to break themselves free from the email yoke, and some times you just need a single day with no email to realise how much it's enslaved us all.
Time to break those chains and re-gain our own sanity methinks!