Luis Suarez of IBM has essentially sworn off email since February 2008, opting instead to use social media to communicate with colleagues. “I was getting tired of doing everyone else’s work instead of mine,” he told Wired, explaining that many of his daily emails entailed answering questions or delegating work.
Suarez uses Google+, Twitter and IBM’s internal social network Connections to communicate with his team members. His rationale has sparked other colleagues at IBM to follow suit, like Juliana Leong, who Wired also interviewed for the article:
Like Suarez, she hasn’t totally done away with email. But when coworkers send her a message, she replies with Connections. It’s more efficient, says Leong, a project manager with IBM’s Office of the CIO. Often, people who ask her questions in public get answers from Leong’s colleagues before she even gets a chance to read them. And those answers remain public, for others to see. That means there are fewer questions for Leong.
The idea that email is obsolete for in-house communication is not a novel one. PriceWaterhouseCoopers discourages employees from sending email on the weekends, while Volkswagen Germany disables its BlackBerry servers after-hours. Atos takes things a step further: it’s planning to ban email entirely within the next two years.