Mar 31, 2021 Team Collaboration

Email vs. Instant Messaging [Differences and Benefits]

Email vs. Instant Messaging [Differences and Benefits]

Communication is essential for a productive business. Naturally, we're all busy people and don't always have time to respond to emails. Luckily, instant messaging is one way to always be up-to-date, and almost every company around the world uses these types of apps.

On the other hand, email has been much longer in use and represents one of the pillars of business communication. We can say that instant messaging and email are the two most popular ways to stay connected. Let's compare and find differences between email vs. instant messaging.

When should you use email?

Since there are more than 2.9 billion email users worldwide, its appeal spans from professional to personal. Also, providing written records of communication and sharing files is particularly important in a business setting. For that matter, it's safe to say that the email isn't going anywhere.

From employees working across various industries to teenagers, every generation has sent and used email. Regardless of how many new communication tools we are introduced to every month, email is here to stay. When should we use email?

Email provides a certain level of formality instant messaging doesn't, which can either be good or bad. While email isn't usually used for a casual chat or quick questions, it's a good choice when it comes to:

  • Scheduling an interview
  • Contacting a client for the first time
  • Managing disciplinary actions

Email leaves a "paper" trail you can locate instantly or archive if necessary. However, using an email as a default communication tool might not be an ideal option. Not only is it overly formal and old-fashioned, but it's also quite unproductive.

People waste too much time sending and reading emails. According to some estimates, an average employee receives 121 emails per day; only 38% of them contain important information.

When should you use chat?

Instant messaging isn't the most suitable way to conduct a formal conversation, but it might be ideal for internal communication among colleagues. Due to the variety of features it offers, instant messaging is excellent for teamwork, as many apps have integrated calendars that allow you to set up a meeting while at the same time doing something else.

Why do people prefer instant messaging?

Just as the name implies, instant messaging tools deliver messages instantly. Coworkers can communicate seamlessly and quickly, with just a couple of clicks. While other employees may struggle to write formal emails, with instant messaging, you can speak freely.

Mail can also be slow and less productive. According to the latest estimates, 32% of employees named Slack as one of the best tools that improved their productivity. And currently, 43% of Fortune 100 companies are using this online tool as a communication platform.

The main aspects of good communication haven't changed - they are still there. Whether you use email or instant chat, you still need to be informative, polite, and concise.

Why use business instant messaging software?

If you are one of those people who believe that instant messaging is a waste of time reserved for Twitter and Facebook addicts, think again. If you are informed about the latest technologies and recognize the potential of instant messaging software, check out how they can improve your company's workflow.

It's a common skill to have. By the end of 2019, we had nearly 2.8 billion smartphone owners worldwide. Of course, if you have a smartphone, then you are probably familiar with instant messaging apps. After all, this form of communication came from a simple SMS we used 20 years ago. Since many people are accustomed to texting, their ability to successfully use instant messaging comes naturally. Therefore, better productivity is implied and doesn't require training.

It's cheaper. The cost of utilizing instant messaging for business is probably one of the biggest advantages. For instance, instead of applying traditional forms of communication, such as costly telephone systems, or customer support staff, you can simply resort to services such as Slack.

It's reliable. Keep in mind that you can use two instant messaging types: private and public. We believed that the public one wasn't recommended for businesses for a long time due to viruses and cyberattacks. However, WhatsApp proved us wrong when they implemented end-to-end encryption for every message sent.

It boosts effective communication. So far, Twitter and text messages have taught us how to be concise and say more with fewer words. Believe us, no one wants to scroll down through countless emails or take endless phone calls when you can say everything you need via instant messaging.

What is the advantage of instant messaging?

It connects staff members in various locations. You will often face a situation where one of your team members is stationed in the office while others are on the field. Instant messaging software will provide seamless communication between team members, regardless of their location. Not only will they be able to type messages but share files as well.

It enables group communication. Instant messaging can either be private or group, allowing more than one person to join. Private messaging is used for confidential and private chats, while group messaging informs everyone about necessary changes or important tasks.

It supports other forms of communication. This type of software works great with other forms of communication. For instance, if you are on the phone with an important client and need information about a specific product, you can secretly text your colleague to get the required information.

It helps employees engage. Team members who communicate openly tend to engage more in the work they conduct. We should point out that instant messaging promotes cozier, less formal, and consistent communication.

Is instant messaging safer than email?

There is a lot of debate about these two, even though their roles are quite different. Instant messaging and emails are the main rivals in the communication field and team productivity. While some claim we have reached the end of the email era, others believe that instant messaging creates a distraction and lowers productivity.

Which one is safer?

Internet safety is a somewhat controversial topic, and no one can indeed be safe on the web. You can always take precautionary measures to protect your files and data. Recently we have seen many messaging apps using end-to-end encryption for every sent message. Also, email providers are boosting their protection protocols, so it might be challenging to bypass all the virtual walls they have managed to construct. If you aren't careful enough, you can always receive malware mail or message, instantly infecting your device and creating issues within the company. In that case, safety is a term that equally applies to both, and we can agree that emails and instant messaging are similarly safe and unsafe.

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