Two-Fifths of Firms May Replace Email After #COVID19

Over two-fifths of businesses are considering replacing email as their primary communications channel as the country begins to open-up again after lockdown, according to a new report.

Think tank Parliament Street commissioned the poll of 200 senior decision makers in medium and large UK firms to better understand how COVID-19 will change the world of work going forward.

Some 43% claimed they were “actively considering replacing email” as the main form of online communication for employees, with cloud- and app-based alternatives.

Real-time chat capabilities in cloud-based platforms can offer more efficient ways for staff to collaborate from within documents they are all working on, argued Zoho’s European managing director, Sridhar Iyengar.

“With remote working more widespread than ever, it is inevitable that these new communication methods, which instigate faster decisions, more streamlined processes and instant approvals, are superseding email in many cases as preferred tools for employee communication,” he continued.

“Not all communication is needed to be in real-time, but these other channels can do a better job of replicating the speed of in-person office work when more timely responses are required.”

Email is also more exposed to cyber-threats than end-to-end encrypted online alternatives. Half (51%) of global firms suffered a ransomware attack, 58% saw an increase in phishing and 60% experienced an uptick in impersonation attacks via email over the past year, according to Mimecast.

Although the government has lifted lockdowns imposed on non-essential retailers and is set to allow hospitality businesses to open up from July, organizations that can are still urged to support remote working for as many staff as possible.

Half of those firms surveyed by Parliament Street said they will continue to mandate working from home for all employees, even once the country returns to ‘normal.’

Some 61% said they’re looking to refresh their digital strategy to make flexible working easier and 64% are training staff remotely to improve their skills in this area.

Those findings chimed with what Sonny Sehgal, CEO of managed services firm Transputec, is seeing.

“By embracing IT as an enabler of workplace change, forward-thinking businesses will be able to move forward swiftly, empowering a new generation of staff through flexible and productive working practices,” he said.

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