Is email on the way out?

Expert Mark Hurst checks his email, which he says has a firm hold in the workplace for the foreseeable future. (Source: NPN)
Expert Mark Hurst checks his email, which he says has a firm hold in the workplace for the foreseeable future. (Source: NPN)

(NPN) - As more companies try to adopt the younger way of thinking, they are considering leaving email in the past and leaning toward alternate ways of staying connected.

One study shows the average worker checks email a whopping 74 times a day, but only 6 percent of teens use email to communicate each day.

According to tech-savvy teenager Alex Heston, email is old fashioned. He said between social media and instant messaging, he and his friends have other ways to communicate.

"Email is retro," Heston said. "It's like sending a letter through the internet, so if you're trying to uphold a conversation with someone through email it's a very slow process."

Alex's mother Mary, a social media expert, agrees. She prefers collaborative platforms for working on projects with colleagues.

"There's so many new apps out with so many different social platforms, I can totally picture a day when email becomes obsolete," Mary Heston said.

Software programs such as Slack let employees keep track of projects through real-time messaging and archives. Asana connects users to an open forum to follow each other's tasks, and those are just a few of the options.

Professor Gloria Mark said her research shows email can increase stress levels.

When email was cut off, face-to-face contact between employees increased. It was also found that face-to-face contact led to improved moods in the workplace.

"Our research shows over and over again that email, simply put, puts people in a bad mood," Mark said.

Author and productivity expert Mark Hurst said the Hestons are on to something, but he isn't convinced email will entirely become a thing of the past.

"Young people today have had unprecedented access to other services beyond just email to communicate with each other," Hurst said. "In business, people are using new tools to collaborate beyond just email. I like things like Google Docs, and I think those are going to increase as teams naturally need to collaborate more in digital spaces. On top of that, people are still going to have email inboxes that they need to manage."

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