As email in-boxes swell with a myriad of messages, employees are losing productive working time as they sift through them trying to prioritise. There are vast amounts of information about a company has hidden away in the in-boxes of employees; should an employee leave, the knowledge locked in their emails is lost when the IT department deletes them from the system. Some experts have noted this and believe businesses could use social networking for collaborative working.
When attempting to work collaboratively using email, information is sent in a linear fashion from a start point and forwarded on through the working group. Attachments are opened on individual computers and when changes are made, the whole process has to, again, be followed – with the risk of someone losing out or new-comers losing context. By using a social network, the data can be stored in a central storage centre and can be accessed by several users.
Increasing the well-being of colleagues through praise can be easily done using social networks. Thanks or praise can be posted on an employee’s wall, virtual awards can be sent or a simple update of a manager’s status can all work to emphasise gratitude for hard work or initiative.
Using a social network to manage or assign tasks is a quicker process than trawling through email threads. All team-members of a working group will be able to see who is working on any specific task and what completion date it is due.
Email revolutionised the office but maybe the future is social.