Why we banned emails at work

At Wave Consulting we have decided to ban emails within the company. We don’t email each other. We email clients. We are a small company, seven in total and most of us are part time, and this is a short blog about why we banned emails within the company.

This email ban is driven by three things: a desire to innovate, to be efficient and to foster a culture of sharing ideas and transparency.

We recognise emails have been around a long time; they are within the core of professional services and office life. We also know that emails and meetings can destroy productivity. How often do you return home from work and feel as though all you did is send and receive emails all day? The larger the company, the more likely you spend time on internal communication.

Don’t get me wrong, we realise the need to communicate within a small company, particularly when staff are not all full time, it is very important. However, we decided that emails are perhaps not the best way to achieve this.

Instead, we use Teams, a team based, chat environment that everyone has access to, and is included in our Office 365 licence. So, it is effectively free and uses the same login as used to access emails. No issues in working across multiple platforms. Slack is another platform that would have helped us off emails, but given there would be a charge and we would need another set of login details, we chose to go with Teams.

The Teams App is efficient and quick to use, it integrates your files, your calendar and everything you need. The platform can also hold video calls, so the team can talk to each other if they are in different locations. No worrying about dial in codes and stuff like that. Just do it. Click and go. Afterwards, the video call is saved for those that missed out on being there.

It is transparent. You no longer have to be concerned about cc’ing people on an email, or worse, realising that they weren’t copied on in the first place. It is searchable. The standard operating procedure is to share with everyone. Everyone can learn, everyone will be up to speed with proposals, industry events, milestones, projects and new ideas.

Just as we look to innovate on our water and energy projects, our new approach to communication fosters a culture of innovation in how we work with each other. It encourages everyone to work together. Each team member has the same permissions – i.e. we can establish smaller teams to work on a specific project. This novel method supports a culture of sharing our knowledge, learning from others and innovating to reduce our impact on the climate.  It is consistent with our location in a co-working office - at Creative Spaces (similar space to the larger co-working offices like Hub and WeWork).

This new culture has been established for a month now and it has worked a dream. We still use email to talk to people external to the company. But Teams has been a significant milestone in improving communications and productivity within Wave.  I want to acknowledge Leigh from Day One Digital for opening our eyes to this app and this progressive approach.