Did the pandemic kill email? Survey points to yes


(NEW YORK) — A year after the start of the “new normal,” a lot of things have changed, and it looks like the humble email is one of them.  In fact, a new survey shows that the pandemic may lead to the end of email as we know it.

The poll of 2,000 Americans sponsored by the work communication platform Slack showed that 50% of its respondents say they’ve stopped sending as many emails as they did prior to the pandemic. 

Video conferencing tech like Zoom, which became ubiquitous as offices worldwide went virtual, has become a common way for distanced colleagues to communicate. According to the non-scientific survey, 51% now say getting an email “crushes their soul.”  Forty-three percent say an email “constrains” their ability to communicate, as opposed to video and instant messaging, and 24% say emails make them feel less connected to their colleagues.

Since the pandemic started, eight in 10 American workplaces have adopted new modes of communication, with 62% of those being less formal than the lowly old email.

And speaking of less formal, while the first emoticon was first posted on a message board at 11:44 a.m. on September 19, 1982 by computer scientist Scott Fahlman, its offspring, the smiley face emoji — and a host of others — are still going strong.

While just 40% in the Slack survey said they “always” use proper punctuation in emails to colleagues, 31% say they “always” use emoji. The survey also showed the “laugh cry” emoji is the most common when it comes to communicating with co-workers, with 69% admitting that using emoji made them feel more connected to their co-workers when working remotely.

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