To text or not to text…that should be the question we ask ourselves when it comes to business communication these days.
The remote world has created a more relaxed culture – allowing us to take advantage of a work-from-home dress code, and seemingly giving us a pass to default to a more informal means of business communication. The problem, though, is that business still requires the same kind of “buttoned-up” intention it did eight months ago and texting, despite its ease of use, still dons a t-shirt and jeans.
Texting is great for a lot of things – confirmation of an appointment, a reminder of a deadline, or a quick but timely request, among others — but we’ve become so accustomed to its ease and efficiency that we overlook the many really important things it lacks.
Here are seven reasons why texting (still) fails to defeat email in business communications:
- Attachments are cumbersome
- And without an app, impossible.
- Messages aren’t easily forwarded
- Unless you want to go through the process of copying and pasting or screenshotting.
- Message hierarchy (to: cc: bcc:) is lost in group texts
- Delegating gets tricky and confusing.
- Filing and sorting is not an option
- There are no folders to fall back on and no e-paper trail exists.
- Deleted messages are not retrievable
- Perhaps somewhere in cyberworld they exist, but they are not nearly as easy to retrieve as a visit to the deleted items folder.
- Implied urgency is not always urgent
- Texting implies urgency. If it is not urgent or in need of an immediate response, a text becomes an unwanted distraction.
- Delivery is immediate
- If you’ve ever hit send on an email to the wrong person, you know how valuable a delay can be.
Is email infallible? Of course not. But even with its issues, it still reigns superior over current texting capabilities when it comes to business communications.
The good news is that technology always seems to be ahead of the curve. There is a growing pool of apps and software downloads to make texting more useful in business communications. And someday, likely when Generation Z infiltrates the workforce, texting may be universally used by all. But until then, keep in mind the reason why tried and true email has withstood the test of time – it works!
Price Harding is the Chairman and Co-founder of CarterBaldwin Executive Search and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of The Heritage Foundation and the Trinity Forum.