Are businesses expecting too much from e-mail?

Since the first email was sent back in 1971, the platform has facilitated the vast majority of communication in businesses. The intuitive nature of emailing allows anyone and everyone to take advantage of quick and easy communication that can be created, sent, received and understood in seconds. However, the use of email in business doesn’t come without its limitations –

And so, could a client file sharing portal be the next big solution?

Emailing has been described as a hard habit to break – its presence can be felt throughout the workplace and within the very fabric of the daily working method and routine.

A study from the McKinsey Global Institute found that the average employee spends 13 hours a week reading and responding to emails. When evaluated further, it became apparent that within an average inbox the ratio of important to unimportant emails is getting worse. The time spent dealing with these equates to approximately 28% of working hours in a given week – a figure that is concerning enough to cause any line manager to lose sleep.

There are a number of impacts that could lead to businesses losing productivity. In particular, one issue of email that can prove to be unnerving for all types of businesses is the opportunity to avoid responsibility. What’s more, without due maintenance, any email inbox can descend into a cluttered stack of information, making it very easy to miss an important message or update altogether. It’s equally as easy to pretend that this is the case, when questioned, and thereby avoid all accountability. After all, one can’t complete a task that one isn’t aware of. It’s this enabling of the unaccountable culture that can cost businesses untold productivity.

Email continues to fall short when it comes to facilitating communication between more than two parties. The dreaded email chain makes working out who the messages are intended for, into a guessing game. Add on the fact that every message buries important information deeper into the chain – and you’re quite literally fighting a losing battle. One interesting study found that emails could inhibit focus and become a drain on productivity as a result. The Danwood group found that it takes on average 64 seconds to ‘recover’ from an interrupting email, regardless of its importance. This effect, when scaled, can have a huge impact over the course of the working day.

Among the greatest concerns for a business or organisation is security. In particular, the security of their clients or customers’ personal data. To say that email lacks the proper security measures for business interactions or file sharing is an understatement – a single stray email containing company information could cause serious harm should it fall into the wrong hands. This is arguably of greater consequence in the case of a client or customer when you consider that the organisation is legally obliged to protect personal data sufficiently.

So how might one address these issues and attempt to improve communication and make file sharing safer? The adoption of a file sharing client portal could enable a business to confer clearly, save valuable working time and protect their sensitive data with the appropriate and compliant measures.

A client file sharing portal, such as Clinked, provides clear audit trails and activity streams to keep the transparency between everyone involved. It includes a range of editing tools to make working time more efficient and effective and includes two-factor authentication to ensure bank-grade security for client files and data. The portal also removes the limitation on file size; typically emails support 25MB attachments (Outlook and Gmail, for example), whereas Clinked offers its users unlimited storage. 

So, while email is likely to always have its place within the working environment, a client portal is far more effective when it comes to certain tasks. It’s clear that email is starting to show it’s age, both technically and logistically. To make email more effective try using it in tandem with another tool to maximise work time efficiency and data security.

Emails can handle the routine communication and updating, leaving a client portal to tend to the complex tasks for which it was designed!

Maia Creed

Marketing executive at Clinked