Email on the Outs

There is a time and place for email, but...


The generational divide in many offices not only spans fashion sensibilities and pop culture references. For many workers, it also encompasses how they feel about the tools they use to do their job, according to a study from the consulting firm Creative Strategies. For instance, most Gen Z workers (those born between 1997 and 2012) loathe email, citing shortcomings like errant messages in spam folders and anxiety around timely replies. But workers over 30 say email remains a top collaboration tool. Gen Z workers prefer video chats, instant messaging or live collaborative docs over email, researchers found.

While business leaders should consider employing a range of communication tools, the death of email is not yet on the immediate horizon. “Folks communicate in multiple ways—they have not abandoned one solely for another,” suggests Carolyn Kleiman, career expert at, adding that email etiquette still exists—and differs dramatically from chats or messaging. “Email tends to be… for more formal communications, and business style writings should be followed.” 

There is a time and place for email, to be sure. But if you’re frustrated with tardy replies from your younger cohorts, you may need to adjust your own methods—and meet the next generation where they’re at. PM