The development of social media has revolutionized marketing and communication.  Even email has changed in response to the social media revolution.  During the past few years, the debate as to whether or not email is obsolete has surfaced.  Atos, a French information technology company, believes that internal email is unnecessary and have taken steps to eradicate it.

Employees will be banned from sending inter-office emails because according to the CEO of Atos, only 10% of the 200 emails received at the office are actually pertinent, and 18% are simply spam messages.  To highlight how insignificant Atos finds email, Breton, the chairman and CEO of Atos, has not sent out an email in the three years of holding his title.   Instead of communicating over email, employees will communicate over Facebook and instant messaging.  Furthermore, Atos is constantly looking for other, newer forms of social media to better facilitate inter-office communication

Atos may be on to something in their decision to discontinue the use of email.  Email is, quite frankly, a hassle.  Unlike with IM tools, you must send messaging using an email address, instead of a name, and you can’t track conversations as easily via email. Mailboxes constantly fill up with spam and long-winded messages.  Email also lends itself to a more formal communication than does instant messaging or Facebook.  While there is still a place for a more formal exchange externally, it does not seem necessary use within an office.  Communication through social media is less formal, more brief, and usually received and responded to quickly–all these features make it perfect for inter-office communication.  Instead of unopened messages inundating your mailbox, it is preferable to have short, concise messages.  Email isn’t dead yet, but it is unnecessary and time consuming when used for informal communication.

For more on Atos’s “zero-email” policy. 

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