My mailbox is empty- and that’s a good thing

There are dialogues in every organization. They contain discussions, knowledge sharing and collaboration. Every employee has their unique set of knowledge and skills to help their organization move forward. To facilitate knowledge sharing, companies provide their employees with a laptop and cellphone. You’ll also get access to your new mailbox. And that’s where it goes wrong, because:

  • Your mailbox changes in a ‘to do box’. Your emails are actually tasks in disguise.
  • Your mailbox serves as your memory and archive. “That’s important, I should hold on to that”. Only to never find it again.
  • Your mailbox will never be empty again. The flood of emails Will. Not. Stop.
  • You and your mailbox. You can’t live with or without each other.

Luckily it doesn’t have to be this way.

Overload

Does this feel familiar? Your emails distract you and cause an information overload. They make you less involved with colleagues or projects. It works likes this: you receive a question in your inbox. You give an answer and that’s that. Only we forget that our answers usually result in yet another task for another person. Did you know that checking your inbox is the number one office distraction? It doesn’t just distract us during working hours, but also in our free time when we’re spending time with friends and family.

Here you can see what a single email can do to an organization.

Working like this is a waste of time and knowledge. It’s time to get this back by working in a transparent and collaborative environment.

My empty mailbox

Last month I (Martijn Rijk) had my first day as an employee of Engage Dialog. The first thing I received was a login to Microsoft Office and our intranet Jive. Since that day I have not received one internal email. And no, it’s not because they don’t need me. Thanks to Jive I only use my mailbox to communicate with prospects and clients.

Every other piece of information I can find in Jive. Dialog Groep uses this digital workplace to collaborate with all her employees. If you want to know something, there you will most likely find it. If you type in a question, you’ll see your answer straight away. Hasn’t the question been asked before? Just mention a coworker and you’ll get a quick response. Questions and answers are automatically saved for further use. An easy way to contributes to the corporate memory.

We use our intranet as a digital workplace where we can schedule meetings and prep for events. We answer questions for customers, make quotations, discuss ideas and collaborate on documents (in Microsoft Office AND SharePoint). It’s safe to say that Jive is our corporate memory and the heart of our company. If it’s not on our intranet, it doesn’t exist. Yet.

The benefits of a digital workplace

I no longer waste time figuring out who has the right answer to my questions and I don’t have to start my day by answering a ton of emails. I’m off to a quicker start and can access information when it’s most relevant to me. The most important benefit in my eyes is that it’s much easier to collaborate together because everybody has access to the most recent information. It makes working together much more fun.

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