The more electronic and global we get, the less important the spoken word has become, and in
e-mail clarity is critical.
– SEAN PHILLIPS, APPLERA CORPORATE RECRUITMENT DIRECTOR
IN “WHAT CORPORATE AMERICA CAN'T BUILD: A SENTENCE”
THE NEW YORK TIMES, DECEMBER 7, 2004
Electronic mail has become the dominant method of communication for people in the workplace. Even those of us who seldom wrote on the job must now write every day. We use e-mail to communicate with team members, clients, customers, and vendors; we even use it when we have a question for a colleague down the hall. More of us are telecommuting, using e-mail to stay in touch with the office. And our participation in the growing global economy means that we use e-mail to communicate more frequently with people in other countries and time zones.
Our e-mail use is only likely to increase. Eighty per cent of the people who responded to a 2003 META Group survey of 387 organizations believed that e-mail is more useful than the phone.1 Recent surveys conducted by the American Management Association and the e-Policy Institute and others reveal that we now spend between 30 minutes and four hours— or more—a day on e-mail-related activities.2
There's no question that e-mail is an invaluable tool for doing business—it's hard to imagine how we got things done without it. Yet reading, writing, and managing e-mail is taking an increasing amount of our time, and we don't always use that time productively. That's why we've written this book: to provide information, ideas, and strategies for making the best use of your e-mail time and making sure that the e-mail you write gets the results you want.