Work from home? Employees would rather email than Slack you

For the majority of us, email is still the superior form of communication, even when you are talking to an employee timezones away from the office.

A new survey from Voxbone found that email was the preferred mode of communication for working professionals. Picking up your phone and calling them came in second, followed by texting, and instant messaging platforms like Slack.

Email is still superior. Should it be?

Even though the rise of Slack and other instant messaging services make communication instant and convenient, this finding suggests that we still prefer the old mainstay of email even though it can drain our time and energy. Emails have long been our biggest time-suck at work. Employees send and receive around 112.5 billion business emails a day. In total, we waste 17 hours every week on pointless work email.

If you’re a manager of remote employees, try being available through more than just email, even if you’d rather communicate through the inbox. Studies have found that for remote employees, it helps to be available through more than one avenue. Remote workers are an anxious lot. Their biggest concern is that because they are out of sight, they are out of mind at work. Alleviate their concerns by showing that you are going to available to them, even when you cannot be physically nearby.

Harvard Business Review argues that the best managers customize their mode of communication to each employee: “Remote employees should always be able to count on their manager to respond to pressing concerns, no matter where they work,” Joseph Grenny writes. “Successful managers don’t just resort to phone or email; they are familiar with video conferencing technologies and a variety of services like Skype, Slack, IM, Adobe Connect, and more. They often tailor their communication style and medium to each employee.”