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Hear No Evil, See No Evil — E-mail Kills the Phone

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the what-no-shouting-over-cube-walls dept.

Communications 155

coondoggie writes to tell us that in a recent study e-mail has overtaken telephony as the most common workplace communication tool. "Research reveals that 100% of the end-users surveyed use e-mail, followed by fixed-line telephones (80%), mobile telephones (76%) and instant messaging (66%). The study points out the three most ubiquitous technologies increase productivity the most. Over 70% of the end-users surveyed say e-mail impacts positively on their productivity, followed by conventional fixed-line telephony (53%) and mobile telephony (52%). From a productivity point-of-view, the research shows that instant messaging, blogs and softphones are considered most disruptive, and could negatively impact productivity if not managed properly."

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Frost Pist (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20299757)

Biatches

E-mail survey, right? (5, Funny)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299773)

Research reveals that 100% of the end-users surveyed use e-mail

Let me guess. They did the survey via e-mail.

Re:E-mail survey, right? (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299815)

Let me guess. They did the survey via e-mail.

We'll they're better off doing it that way then by phone. It's not like I answer my phone for any number I don't recognize.

For just about anything I prefer chatting, e-mail, or any other electronic method as my time isn't 100% devoted to a single person. I can do 100 other things while responding to electronic messages. With a phone call my attention is solely with one person and that's just not a good way to operate for MOST functions of my day.

Re:E-mail survey, right? (1)

efity (1044316) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299851)

Hopefully you're not opening a lot of emails from addresses you don't recognize, either.

But I do agree with you there. If it's a number I don't know, it gets assigned as unimportant if I'm busy; I can check my voicemail later. A phone call could take anywhere from a minute to half an hour, whereas an email reply takes maybe a minute (although there may be more emails to send, one minute can be sacrificed here and there, but half an hour is too much time to devote to one nonessential thing).

Re:E-mail survey, right? (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299891)

Hopefully you're not opening a lot of emails from addresses you don't recognize, either.

Unfortunately it's the nature of my job.

Voice mail sucks too (0)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300399)

Ever get any that last over 5 minutes?

Damn bitch, too lazy to e-mail me.

Deleted, and ignored, just like spam.

Yeah, Carla, I'm talking about you.

Re:Voice mail sucks too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20302011)

Cell companies don't LET you shut off voicemail service. Sure, they don't charge you for it, but atleast let me opt out! They laughed at me in the store when I asked, yes, laughed! I hate voicemail with a passion.

Re:Voice mail sucks too (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302937)

Well, aren't I glad I live in Europe.

I don't need to opt out; I just send a code to deactivate it, and each and every provider gives you the list of their codes for most common operations.

Here, if people want to leave you a message when you don't pick up the phone (or just prefer not to talk to you), they send a text message. I don't know a single person who uses voicemail. Ever.

Re:E-mail survey, right? (4, Insightful)

gmack (197796) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300115)

I hate phones for the same reason I hate instant messengers. I don't like things that demand my instant attention and interrupt what I'm doing.

If I'm working on something I can check emails when it won't affect my ability to get work done. If I'm constantly answering the phone I never get anything done.

Re:E-mail survey, right? (1)

el cisne (135112) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300189)

"I hate phones for the same reason I hate instant messengers. I don't like things that demand my instant attention and interrupt what I'm doing."

Damn straight. Especially when it is for something trivial. I've gotten to where I hate the damn thing. Unless I'm calling someone else of course.... ;-)
But still I try to get with them by email first and give them a day. That stupid phone is demanding, insistent, "interrupt driven", and if someone is calling me it better be good. And if their call is not important enough for them to leave a message then it is not important enough for me to drop everything I'm doing, halt my train of thought or code-groove, just to answer something that could have waited.

Reminds me of our new VOIP system (5, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300959)

A few months ago my company came through the office and tore out everyone's regular phones and replaced them with super-duper Cisco VOIP sets.

The things are crap (you have to sign into them every morning ... as if I don't have enough passwords to remember already, now I need to sign in to my freaking phone?) but they do have one upshot. If I just don't sign into the thing, nobody can call me -- the calls just roll right over into voice mail. And since my voicemails get emailed to me as attachments (where I can conveniently play them at faster-than-normal speed), I can basically ignore the phone handset and do everything through my PC.

By my unofficial count, I'd say something like 30-50 percent of the office is doing the same thing, either intentionally or just because they can't remember to sign into the phones in the morning. I think it's actually boosted productivity -- nobody uses the phones to call around the office anymore, unless they've already sent an email or an IM to see if the person is available on the other end.

Maybe they're not so bad after all...

Re:E-mail survey, right? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302169)

That's why texting has become so popular... I rarely get or make voice calls for the reasons you state. OTOH I get texts all the time.

Re:E-mail survey, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20300499)

We'll they're better off doing it that way then by phone. It's not like I answer my phone for any number I don't recognize.

Do you, by any chance, happen work at a bank? F*%$ I hate bankers.

Re:E-mail survey, right? (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300663)

"my time isn't 100% devoted to a single person."

Glad I don't work with you. Well, I don't know where you work, but I don't work with a bunch of people who waste my time. A few clients do this, yes, but hey, they're paying us a bunch of money.

People have learned not to call me unless it's important.

Ever hear of a headset? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20301353)

>With a phone call my attention is solely with one person and >that's just not a good way to operate for MOST functions of
>my day

I always talk on the phone while gaming to kill two birds with one stone and maximize my precious free time. I also dont mind doing the dishes as that is my podcast time.

But seriously buddy,... both my parents and in laws have cordless phones with headsets and both moms talk on the phone while they cook or work in the backyard. And my folks have a cellphone with bluetooth headset (you know, safety on the road) and voice activation.
They seem to have mastered technology faster than you.

Your geek credits have been revoked.

Re:E-mail survey, right? (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301719)

We'll they're better off doing it that way then by phone

They'd be better off randomly selecting businesses in different areas, and going there in person to interview them.

The idea is to get a representative sample. There are some historical examples of people messing up their sample group (in a political poll) by using a phone book to pick their sample group of voters "randomly" -- the problem is that it wasn't random at all, they only got people who owned a phone. They left out all of the low-income voters, who were more likely as a group to vote a certain way.

Their prediction of how the election would swing was way off as a result.

Re:E-mail survey, right? (1)

xarak (458209) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302065)

And wireless networks and laptops allow you to email during certain of those traditional 100%-tasks.

From another type of cubicle.

I personally draw the line at phoning from there.

Re:E-mail survey, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20299823)

And the folks that answered the request for the survey responded to SPAM!!! Nice demographic.

Flawed survey-result logic... (3, Interesting)

ErnstKompressor (193799) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300637)

I think if you add the landline and mobile percentages togther, you have 100% "Telephone" usage -- It's like asking if you get your e-mail "wirelessly" or "wired"...

Discussed this with my boss... (5, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299811)

I discussed this point with my boss once. I argued for e-mail:

There may be a record (via phone company) of when a call took place, what number was dialed, and how long it took...

...but with an e-mail, all parties involved have a record of when it was sent, who received it, and what was said.

That last part is hard to do with a phone conversation, legally anyway.
=Smidge=

Re:Discussed this with my boss... (5, Interesting)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299837)

...but with an e-mail, all parties involved have a record of when it was sent, who received it, and what was said.


which is why my manager at my last job would always call me, or stop by my cube or grab me as I walked by in the hall instead of email whenever she wanted to ensure that whatever idiotic thing she wanted done (the joys of being a network security guy) could not be traced back to her. But, I'd send her a note about it each time anyway. I like having my get out of jail free card. "just to verify, you wanted me to do $foo, and understand the implications, right?"

My current boss does that. (5, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299963)

I lost points on my last review because of my "over reliance" on email. And I'll probably lose points on the next one.

Don't forget that in a lot of email systems I can tell when you've opened my email and whether you deleted it or not.

Email is its own paper trail AND with magical CYA powers. And that really annoys a certain type of personality.

Re:My current boss does that. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300127)

If you work for a publicly traded company or a business that's healthcare related then it is REQUIRED by law that there be a paper trail. There must be documentation of any and all system changes along with authorization from designated personnel. Next time your boss bitches about the paper trail just blame it on SOX/HIPPA and the auditors.

Re:My current boss does that. (2)

SRA8 (859587) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300335)

"If you work for a publicly traded company or a business that's healthcare related then it is REQUIRED by law that there be a paper trail. There must be documentation of any and all system changes along with authorization from designated personnel. Next time your boss bitches about the paper trail just blame it on SOX/HIPPA and the auditors."
There is the law, and then there is corporate practice. Tell my boss about SOX and he is likely to have you fired before he starts documenting some of what they do.

Re:My current boss does that. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300375)

Wow, I would be dropping an anonymous tip about my boss's behavior to HR and internal audit if I ever got it trouble for doing my job correctly.

Re:My current boss does that. (2, Insightful)

SRA8 (859587) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300411)

Perhaps once i quit the firm. Anonymous is not really anonymous, as the circle of people who understand processes is quite small. It would be obvious I ratted him out if I did.

Re:My current boss does that. (1)

GunFodder (208805) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301349)

You're probably not too worried about the situation because when eventually there is a screw-up you'll have an audit trail and your boss won't. There's nothing like instant karma.

Re:My current boss does that. (2, Interesting)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300205)

Why do you put up with it? Not a company wide problem, deeply embedded in the culture, just one or 2 managers? But if that's all it is, why not complain about those managers? If it is the whole company, why stay? Is it that finding another job is hard, and a pain, what with maybe having to move? Job market is bad, despite what everyone is saying? Or, don't want the troubles that come with being a whistleblower? Or you aren't putting up with it, but you're not quite ready to move yet?

One thing I realized after a particularly unpleasant employment experience was that my inaction had abetted the enemy. After some truly dismal performances by the incompetent and corrupt management, they gained themselves one last chance by blaming and sacrificing all of us. It did them no good, of course. Had I made more noise, had I so much as quit sooner, it might have made a difference and got them all exposed sooner. I kept all my emails, just in case.

Re:Discussed this with my boss... (1)

Raideen (975130) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301231)

My boss just e-mails me and then calls me about what he wrote in the e-mail. Alternatively, he'll call my cell phone twice, my home phone, and then my cell phone again before leaving voicemail asking me to call him, but the voicemail doesn't provide any information on what he's calling me about (which is annoying because Verizon's voicemail system is painful to use). Sometimes I'll get e-mail that's just as informative as his voicemail. It could be a server that's on fire or he has another Excel question, but I have no way of knowing which it is until I call him back. If he does reach me (it's not like I'm unreachable, but people do go to the bathroom, take showers, go to the movies, and need sleep :-/ ), it's usually something that would've been covered better in e-mail. E-mail would also prevent him from mangling my explanation when he repeats it to the client. Proper use of any medium would be nice.

Re:Discussed this with my boss... (1)

ms1234 (211056) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301381)

This is what I do with my developers. Why spend more or less a whole day on sending email to each other when the issue can be resolved in 5 minutes on the phone. After that I send an email to the developer stating what we talked about so that it is documented.

When ever I get a new developer the first thing I tell him or her is that forget the email, call me instead.

Triumvirate Communicae (5, Informative)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299905)

Email for instruction. Telephone for clarification. Remote VNC when the other two fail.

Re:Triumvirate Communicae (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300057)

Why is this modded funny instead of informative?

even tho' it may seem funny, it is the reality in a lot of places.

Wish I had mod points.

3 forms of communication, 1 point of failure (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302645)

What happens when all 3 go over the very same T1 line, and it being down is the problem? I've always hated the idea of VOIP for this reason alone. It is unfortunate that putting all services over the same pipe gives you a single point of failure, because doing so is very convenient (until the line goes down)!

Re:Discussed this with my boss... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20300491)

"...but with an e-mail, all parties involved have a record of when it was sent, who received it, and what was said."

What you really mean is who it was sent to. Without some sort of confirmation, you don't know that it actually got to any of the intended receipients, or that they looked at it if it did get to them. That can be a bit of a problem at times.

Otherwise, agreed that a clear record of what was said is a great thing.

Not a verifiable record (2, Informative)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301039)

Unless both parties are signing their messages, either side can edit them to their hearts content, and there's no way to prove who (if either) is being honest. Even if they are signing them, they can simply ignore your message and claim it was never sent.

Re:Not a verifiable record (2, Informative)

tftp (111690) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301449)

In most cases email is difficult to bury. Aside from mandatory logging which any large company has to have, there are always backups. Besides, if there are multiple recipients of the email then it's very hard to convince the court that all of those unrelated and disinterested parties conspired to fake an email complete with reasonable headers etc. And if you keep mail logs then these headers can be checked against the log, and if there was a message sent then it's practically proven - unless it's a criminal case where requirements for conviction may be tougher.

Slashdot Editors Forget (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20299817)

That it really didn't kill the phone. And the overlap between landline and mobile phone usage probably makes that 100% as well. And hundreds of millions of people get their email through a phone line using dial-up or DSL.

Re:Slashdot Editors Forget (2, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299943)

What is this landline phone you speak of?

I refused to use chat for years, but for interoffice communications, its quicker than email, and better than shouting "hey, what's that url again?"

IM is great for sending URLs. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300995)

Sending URLs is a big benefit of IM applications in tech-heavy offices. Our mailserver has a rather significant lag (actually, not everyone in the office uses the same server, so sometimes it can be quick and other times 10-15 mins or longer), and hand-copying URLs leads to errors.

Although something like TinyURL within the intranet would probably be handy (the IT security people seem to really hate it when people use the public one...), the way people were usually sending URLs around was just by pasting them into Notepad and printing the document out. This behavior has almost totally stopped since we got an IM system.

OTOH, IM can be just as annoying as traditional phones because it has a tendency to go off while you're in the middle of things, but at least you can set an away message and warn people off (and suppress messages). And I could see how it could be isolating and lead to a lack of contact if overused. But for "hey, Joe, let me send you the address for that page," it's quite nice.

I'm not shocked... (4, Interesting)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299829)

Let's say I wanted to ask someone a question, a simple question with no real need for an immediate reply. I send an e-mail. If I were to use regular phone, I have to deal with polite conversation which I may or may not have time for. Not that I don't mind idle conversation, it's just something I don't always want to deal with.

Let's say someone was visiting me and there a traffic advisory, or something else they would need to index later. I would phone first, then text an instruction block to the phone. Same when grocery of component shopping.

And messaging when someone is not around, e-mail is so much better than voice. Mobile phones are not always reliable to relay all the important words, and some people on land lines use really crappy answering machines, but an e-mail will always get the message out.

E-mail is more important than phone these days. That's rather a fact of life. Welcome to the 21st century, where no one has to talk to anyone.

Re:I'm not shocked... (3, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299995)

Let's say I wanted to ask someone a question, a simple question with no real need for an immediate reply. I send an e-mail. If I were to use regular phone, I have to deal with polite conversation which I may or may not have time for. Not that I don't mind idle conversation, it's just something I don't always want to deal with.

I love email for this very reason. Somebody asks me a question over the phone, if I don't have an immediate answer ready I have to get their contact information. That can be a pain in the butt, especially if we have a bad phone connection(It happens).

With email, if I have the info I dump it into the email and send it off to them. I even tend to keep a 'faq' listing for that very purpose(no, I don't make it public, because I'm supposed to be providing the 'personal touch', and customize the answers a bit for the customer's exact situation). If I need to collect it, no big deal, I have their contact information right there. It's in my queue, so to speak.

Unfortunately, most of my answers require research at this point because I just shifted positions and am still learning my new job.

Re:I'm not shocked... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300167)

Let's say I wanted to ask someone a question, a simple question with no real need for an immediate reply. I send an e-mail. If I were to use regular phone, I have to deal with polite conversation which I may or may not have time for. Not that I don't mind idle conversation, it's just something I don't always want to deal with.

I totally agree with the need for social talk on the phone, e-mail is often much more to-the-point, and that can take time.

But then, e-mail is also much less personal. The "human touch" is gone. And I find that to actually make a deal, this human touch is a necessity. OK dealing with China that may be stronger than with Americans, still it's a very important part of human communication that gets lost in e-mail.

In my business I find e-mail a great tool to get the first contact, followed up by a phone call or two, and a personal visit. After that it's often a lot of e-mail again because it's so damn convenient.

Chat I barely use... the disadvantages of e-mail (indirect) and telephone (synchronous communication, must answer now) combined.

Re:I'm not shocked... (1)

Pandora's Fairy (1130205) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301747)

I am so glad we don't have to talk anymore. Will save me a whole lot of wrinkles lateron in life.

obvious (3, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299841)

From a productivity point-of-view, the research shows that instant messaging, blogs and softphones are considered most disruptive

Probably because those three things are more typically used for personal reasons, not business reasons. It's not so much a problem with the tools, but the use. If they became more widely integrated into the workplace, they wouldn't be considered "disruptive".

At any rate, if you have employees that are good at managing their own workflow, you don't have to worry about clamping down on "disruptive" technology.

Re:obvious (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300437)

I disagree; I think it's inherent to the technology. How could real-time communications such as phones and IM *not* be more disruptive than email? The other person is sitting and waiting for you to respond, and you know it. Of course that's disruptive.

Re:obvious (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301539)

I think it's inherent to the technology. How could real-time communications such as phones and IM *not* be more disruptive than email?

Because it's entirely telling that telephones are considered to be "productive", while IM is considered to be "disruptive". I've worked in an office where IM was used to great effect. not only can you have an almost telephone-quality conversation, but you can do other things that you can't to on the telephone, such as transfer files, communicate QUIETLY without having to shut the door to your office, communicate with someone who may already be on a conference call, and so on.

The only reason IM is considered to be disruptive, vs, say, the telephone, is because most PHB's haven't caught on to the benefits yet.

Re:obvious (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302073)

The managers at my call center use messengers to great effect for communication with each other. Though the very public very unencrypted messenger service they use seems strange for such a network security paranoid company...

Reasons? (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299845)

People hate voice mail.
It is easier to plan, revise and think-out email.
People are nervous about speaking.
E-mail leaves the ever-important trail to use against people later.
You're already using the computer, so it seems like an extra effort at times to switch tasks to the phone.

And this is the biggest supposition on my part, but it seems that people "look forward" to getting email, where as they feel annoyed anytime the phone rings.

Re:Reasons? (1)

NeilTheStupidHead (963719) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300021)

Also, unlike a phone call/message, email can contain pictures, drawings, etc.
Yes, I realize that that you can fax images but, having worked for a building supply company, an electronic image that doesn't get lost, crumpled or have coffee spilled on it is often much more convenient, especially since all of our ordering and pricing was done on computers.

Re:Reasons? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300107)

Good addition. I should have thought of that.

Re:Reasons? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300483)

The most horrible thing about voicemail is sequential access. People leave a big long-winded voicemail and then finally mumble their phone number at the end. Then you have to listen to the whole thing once or twice more, it's a time-waster.

Also, transcription (of anything, from phone numbers to prescriptions) is error-prone. With email I always copy and paste rather than transcribe, but voicemail obviously precludes that.

Re:Reasons? (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302541)

I am hoping that the iPhone does one thing to the entire phone industry, and that is Visual voice mail. So you can just replay that one annoying message and not all of them.

and no I don't own an iPhone. it's too pricey for me and I don't like AT&T edge enough to actually pay for it.

Re:Reasons? (3, Interesting)

teh moges (875080) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300403)

What you said is true, but unfortionate in that it doesn't force people to learn how to speak to one another.
You can't (at least, not right now that I know of) interview for a job by email.
I always hate just emailing important things to other people. You can leave an email sit there, but you have to answer a phone call, or at least acknowledge that you know of the issue. An email can simply be discarded as "Oh, I haven't read that one yet". I prefer to phone to talk, and any important details get emailed. Any non-important issues are emailed, with a follow up call when they (invariably) haven't got back to me within a week.

Maybe it is just where I work, but I can't rely on other people to read emails, despite it being corporate policy.

Re:Reasons? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300469)

Closed email systems allow for read receipts, and I never understood why a standard for read receipts never caught on.

I've worked for three major corporations, and all of them have been big on read receipts to track email, where as people can say, "oh, I didn't check my voice mail yet" just as easily as they can say they haven't read their email yet. However with a read receipt, you can verify if that is true.

Perception of read receipts as a spammer tool (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302791)

Closed email systems allow for read receipts, and I never understood why a standard for read receipts never caught on.
Because senders of unsolicited bulk e-mail use read receipts [wikipedia.org] to confirm that their messages are being read, a lot of user agents that are initially configured for use with public e-mail are also initially configured to ignore read receipts.

Re:Reasons? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300845)

Hopefully it does force people to become literate, though... wait, no. I've seen emails from "coporate"[sic] types full of E.E. Cummings letter-casing, gross misspellings, grammar screw-ups (primarily homonyms), etc. They speak better than they write already. They're good at the bullshit when it doesn't have to actually be recorded and can be referenced. I don't mind the phone, but if you want anything you say to stick to me (and you), use email.

Re:Reasons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20301053)

Maybe it is just where I work, but I can't rely on other people to read emails, despite it being corporate policy.

If they aren't reading your emails, chances are it's because they are busy with something more important. By phoning them up, you are stopping them working on that important thing, whatever it is.

The extra bits in voice mail (1)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300443)



[VOICEMAIL]
"Um. Hi. Yeah. How are you? I just wanted to call to touch base and see how you were doing. Give me a call when you get a chance. Talk to you soon. Buy."

[Me]
ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz

[EMAIL]
Hey, whats up?

Email wins.

Re:Reasons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20300455)

People are nervous about speaking.
Nerds are nervous about speaking. On the other hand, it'd do good for the extroverts to think twice before yapping.

Re:Reasons? (1)

jadin (65295) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300517)

[Slashdot] Reply to Reasons? by jadin

Here.. I'll help you with your next fix.

Re:Reasons? (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302247)

And this is the biggest supposition on my part, but it seems that people "look forward" to getting email, where as they feel annoyed anytime the phone rings.
You're right, but I think that's because it's relatively new technology. There are plenty of people (like me, I'm an old fart, but not that old of a fart) who did not grow up with email. Compare that to the number of people who grew up without telephone service. I predict though that that will begin to change as people become used to the fact that >90% (and getting worse every day) of email is spam. Unless of course if you are one of the lucky few who happen to be shopping for penis enlargement or believe the "you've won the UK lottery!" spam email ...

My opinion (4, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299927)

I gotta throw out my opinion here, with a bit of perspective from my last employer. Not everyone I worked with was nice. But the mantra was throughout the company, if you can't get them on the phone, hunt them down in person. So when someone got a bug up his ass about some issue, they would call my phone... over and over. You couldn't send them to voicemail... they would know right away you were there... so you had to wait out the three or four consecutive phone calls in hopes that they will just give up. But they rarely did. They would storm into my office ranting and raving about XYZ and they need ABC and whatever else they could complain about to keep me from my work. I honestly fought for an hour with a coworker (salesguy) that FOR THE HUNDREDTH TIME STILL COULDN'T INSERT A PICTURE, FROM FILE, INTO A POWERPOINT PRESENTATION! And somehow this was my fault, because I was the computer guy. But I digress... anyway, even on the phone, they all went a mile a minute, giving me no time to think, no time to compose, nothing I could do where I could come out on top of that situation.

For this sake I preferred email corrispondance. I could think, sometimes over hours, what I needed to say, and constuctively lay it out how the situation needed.

But the old folks out there... the ones who insist I wear a tie, shine my shoes, shave my face TO SIT BEHIND A DESK, actually told me I was no longer allowed to respond to any issues of ANY kind via email. It had to be by phone.

Seriously, welcome to the 21st century. It is the future. A better mousetrap has been made. Quit making me catch mice with a broomstick and a bucket.

Re:My opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20299967)

For those who didn't catch it, in PowerPoint, there is a menu item "Insert->Picture->From File". I couldn't justify wasting my karma on such a tiny FYI

Re:My opinion (1)

fat_mike (71855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300211)

They probably did that because they were emberassed by you grammar.

You sound like the job is beneath you and its their fault. Dick.

Re:My opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20300265)

They probably did that because they were embarrassed by your grammar.

You sound like the job is beneath you and it's their fault. Dick.

Re:My opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20300301)

They probably did that because they were emberassed by you grammar.
Ahem. "embarrassed by your grammar"

You sound like the job is beneath you and its their fault.
"it's their fault"

Dick.
brainconstipation.org indeed.

Re:My opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20300911)

Even better

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING in /home/.hops/fatmike/brainconstipation.org/index.ph p on line 4

Re:My opinion (1)

geobeck (924637) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300661)

A better mousetrap has been made. Quit making me catch mice with a broomstick and a bucket.

You had a broomstick?! I had to entice the mice into the bucket using a ball of earwax as bait! And after I caught them, I had to call the boss on our interphone system, making sure the string was pulled tight enough for him to hear me.

Ugh, email (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20299973)

Now don't get me wrong, email has its uses. However, I would MUCH rather use a phone for most day-to-day business activities. Here's why:

- You're a lot more likely to get an answer in a timely manner if you call the person first, and THEN email them if they're not there, than if you just email and wait for a reply. I don't keep outlook open all the time because I find it a nuisance and it crashes all a time; phones don't crash usually.
- It takes longer to write (and to read) an email than to make a phone call.
- You don't get to show off your communication skills (such as bargaining) as much through email as you do on the phone.

Of course, over both of these, I prefer to walk down the hall to the person's cube and talk to them in person, but that seems outdated these days.

Re:Ugh, email (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20301871)

Well, don't use Outlook?

jabber (1)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299997)

Honestly-- I prefer being contacted at work via Instant message. We have an in house Jabber sever set up. Very convienent. It amazes me how many businesses have no problem using AIM or MSN Messenger to communicate at work when it is fairly straightforward to setup a jabber server.

Re:jabber (1)

Mazin07 (999269) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300579)

Businesses can use MSN Messenger with Exchange server to set up their own in-house IM network. Employees can be assigned screennames names using their work e-mail and real name (no "wiseguy9391823"-type). They can only chat within their network.

email killed the FAX machine (3, Insightful)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300023)

since I'm in the "document" business, I'm seeing more and more people (thankfully) going from a fax, to using email. A lot of multi-function-printers (MFP) have the ability to connect to a network connection. You can scan to email, scan to fax and also reverse it, printing what needs to be printed, or, fax to a "fax email" box, which would be networked, passworded so the intended receiver has access to the fax. Look at the document, edit, forward, or print, or simply delete. Scan to email, obviously, is a LOT faster than a fax. 20 pages on a fax, can, depending on the quality (or lack thereof) of the phone line can take 15-30 minutes! With an email, it is almost instant.

100% of stupid people, are plain stupid (1)

Ep0xi (1093943) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300047)

Wiretap my IP-Phone TOO and face consequences

EDITOR CHECK PLZ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20300085)

80% + 76% + 66% = 222% !!!

Re:EDITOR CHECK PLZ (2, Funny)

sethawoolley (1005201) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300219)

Aren't you glad you posted that one anonymously.

Re:EDITOR CHECK PLZ (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300351)

... and 222% of people rejected the survey, making the assumption that everyone used only one form of communication in the workplace.

Say that again in English please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20300129)

Over 70% of the end-users surveyed say e-mail impacts positively on their productivity

Where was this survey conducted, PHB-land?

Duh... (4, Insightful)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300147)

Email is asynchronous. Also, for (legitimate) emails, it's a lot more time-consuming for the sender to type it (~40wpm?) than for the recipient to read it (~a few hundred wpm). It doesn't take as much time -- and can be saved for handy reference, too.

I for one welcome our new SMTP overlords.

Re:Duh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20300871)

I don't seem much mention of "texting." Perhaps that's because "old people" like us use email more than texting one another's phones.

I'll never forget the two "old" guys on the Tonight Show sending a message via CW outpacing the two kids im'ing with "abbreviated" spelling of words. Not that I expect a comeback of CW, but I do expect "texting" to overtake email in the workplace as the workforce gets younger.

Re:Duh... (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302113)

I for one welcome our new SMTP overlords.

More probably, it's the new MAPI overlords you'll have to welcome.

for certain limited definitions of "kill" (3, Insightful)

jfruhlinger (470035) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300177)

And by "kill" we mean "is used 25 percent more often than", according to one survey. But we might as well have a funeral now, right?

Re:for certain limited definitions of "kill" (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300749)

Yep, amazing. They lifted the already stupid title of TFA and managed to make it even more stupid by replacing the only accurate word ("overtakes") with "kills"... sigh.

Results due mostly to the survey question? (1)

kevinatilusa (620125) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300223)

I think the culprit may be that they divided fixed-line telephones and mobile telephones into two separate categories for the survey, but kept e-mail as a single category.

If they had made a survey where the phones were kept as a single category but e-mail was divided into two categories (say a company sponsored server vs. a third party e-mail service like Yahoo) the results would probably have been reversed.

Pretty obvious... (2, Insightful)

Ian123 (463722) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300227)

Seems obvious that new tech will replace old tech. That said I still find that picking up the phone gets more done then an email. For the simple reason that people have to respond right away. It's simply harder (but not impossible) to stonewall.

Re:Pretty obvious... (1)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300381)

Getting an immediate response isn't always the best. When people make a phone call, usually they expect some sort of answer and sometimes a problem requires thought to figure out. In my opinion, I'd rather be informed of a problem and then be given time to think it over. Phone calls are disruptive because it often times takes a lot longer for them to say something then it does for you to read an email that they've typed. Maybe it may take longer for them to type than speak, but in the end, at least i have a copy of the problem and can refer to it in the future as opposed to having to call them back. It allows me to focus on the problem and give it more attention as opposed to someone complaining in my ear and waiting for a quick answer.

quicker isn't always better.

emial != productive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20300235)

I get the most email, but it doesn't make me the most productive. If you call me on the phone, you will get results. If you send me an email with a due date of tomorrow, I may not even notice it for a couple of weeks.

I look at email that pertains to what I'm doing *now*-- everything else is filed, "later".

And in other news... (1)

punxking (721508) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300243)

fire is still hot, and rain is still wet... film at eleven.

Research? (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300281)

Research reveals that 100% of the end-users surveyed use e-mail
Research? Is that some blogging site I've never heard of?

I find the phone quite disruptive (3, Insightful)

bmajik (96670) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300287)

Email and IM are the tools of choice at work. The crappy voip phones in our office use meridian mail, which I can only surmise was designed as an enormous practical joke on how to make someone quit their job merely over the tools instead of anything strictly job related... and which was accidentally shipped.

Our phones have this big red light on them when you have a voice mail waiting. Since somebody setup Meridian to ask you for a new voice mail password (one you've not used recently) every... what is it, 6 minutes?.. and since someone leaves me a voice mail once every 6 months.. invariably that light would come on and i'd have no way of getting it to shut off. Well, eventually I just unplugged my phone for a while and luckliy, when I moved desks and plugged it in, the light was gone. Now when people call me and try to leave voice mail, they get this horrible message saying this user hasn't setup their voice mail. Say it along with me in your best mortal combat announcer voice: "Flawless Victory!"

In any case, my phone is effectively a 1 way device. I use it to make non-work-related calls, or to dial into conference calls that aren't using pc/ip based audio streaming.

I'd like to dump the phone altogether and use a soft phone that integrates with an IM client. If I'm sitting at my laptop, we can communicate, and chances are, you'll try IM first.

Re:I find the phone quite disruptive (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300799)

Ugh. Meridian. I still haven't set up my voice mail after 9 months at my work. Everyone who calls just gets "This user is not subscribed to this service" (subscribed? wtf?). Funnily enough, I think my predecessor using the same phone on the same PC and same port did have voicemail, it just mysteriously died.

Re:I find the phone quite disruptive (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302099)

In any case, my phone is effectively a 1 way device.
Smart move! I prefer to just tell people that they have the wrong number; our internal directory is enough out of date that they'll believe it and I only give out my number to external people that I really want to call me.

I use it to make non-work-related calls, or to dial into conference calls that aren't using pc/ip based audio streaming.
Having done a lot of conference calls the past few years, the main thing for them to work seems to be to have some sort of screen-sharing set up. Without that, life is painful. And IP-based audio streaming doesn't work too well with such systems alas: very few sites have enough bandwidth to support proper screen sharing and a non-choppy audio stream at the same time (remember, it's the uplink bandwidth that's the limiting factor!) Having a real phone for the audio (the best you can do without real QoS for the IP audio stream) at least means that everyone in the conference call gets to hear what's going on, since telephones use a bandwidth reservation system (circuit switching) for their data channel. Choppy audio (and I've heard it go as far as losing 75-80% of every second) is truly impossible to use.

(Oh no! I've mentioned QoS! This'll bring out the net neutrality kooks! Well, this is good QoS I'm talking about, in that it is serving the customer who is paying for the connection.)

but I thought email was dead? (2, Funny)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300581)

Wasn't there an article on /. a few weeks back that claimed that email was dead? So now email is alive and is killing the phone?

Re:but I thought email was dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20302845)

I, for one, welcome our zombie email overlords.
 
FONEZZZ! FONEZZZ!

kinda silly (1)

trb (8509) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300595)

it says 100% email, 80% fixed-line phone, 76% cell phone. That adds up to 156% phone, or probably at least 100% or so. and as for the advantages of email vs phone, both have their grace. email is easier to manage and save. but if you're going to have a conversation involving give and take, face to face is better than phone, which is better than email.

Not silly, totally bogus dude (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301919)

If they would have just asked 'do you use a landline or a mobile in your day to day communications' there wouldn't be silly sensationalist slurs of the statistical sort that we are seeing.

Today... (1)

EspressoFreak (237002) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300763)

People are most receptive of using e-mail because it is the least intrusive medium of communication, giving their respondents almost absolute freedom in constructing, or denying, an appropriate response.

Re:Today... (1)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301221)

I think the cubicle is another thing that drives it, on two fronts. One is privacy, or the lack of it, that a cubicle gives you. The other is that when you're having a phone conversation, it can bother people around you who are trying to focus on what they're doing. So, I use email for non-urgent communication at work. If it's more urgent, I'll use jabber or, if I think a call is best, I'm more likely to walk over and have a face to face conversation, which beats a phone call hands down.

If I have a non-business call to receive or make on my cell, I leave my desk and grab a nearby meeting room or go to the engineering lounge (no, we really have one, with a commercial beer fridge, even) or step outside for a few minutes.

My desk phone is bottom of the barrel in my list of communication devices, I think I've used it 2 or 3 times all year.

If you add fixed and mobile telephony together (1)

KNicolson (147698) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300819)

What percentage do you get? Why not separate POP versus IMAP as different types of email since it's being done for telephony? My employer, for instance, has got rid of almost all fixed line phones and replaced them with WiFi-based mobiles so drawing conclusions about almost 0% of our staff using fixed lines would be misleading.
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