Face-to-face reprise: email banned

Today I ran across a link saying that a PR firm had put in place a permanent ban on internal email and IM.

Ahem. Not email my coworkers?

My first reaction was, "Wow, that would be a great answer when an interviewer asks why you're looking for a job: 'they took away my email.'"

But listen to their motivations: "we were having conflict conversations over email ... in order to avoid the person, but still say what had to be said." Red flag! Once they implemented a temporary ban, they started getting positive feedback:
With email, you don’t hear the tone in someone’s voice, nor can you quickly ask for clarification. Instead, your find yourself analyzing the message: Do they sound upbeat? Are they upset? Do they not care? Now that we’re talking face-to-face, the unknowns are gone and we get to the answer much more quickly.
Well now, that sounds familiar. Tone of voice, level of interest, all these subtextual and sometimes subliminal things help us communicate. I encourage you to click through the above link to the original post and read the rich list of comments from the workers at this firm.

In related news, I'll be making an oral presentation on this topic at the Social Media Club Cleveland eBook Launch Party. I'm pretty proud of the eBook (I contributed a chapter, which also appeared on this blog) and I've become something of an evangelist on this topic.


BTW, I found this story through the Coudal Partners Fresh Signals RSS feed, a very active group microblog from a Chicago PR firm. It's highly entertaining (if often inscrutable) and IMO is actually more like a "directory of wonderful things" than BoingBoing has been in years.