Updated June 03, 2020
Should you be texting or email for work? Which one is the right method to send information to someone? It is a grey area for many people. If you start asking your colleagues, you will find there is a wide a range of opinions on the proper etiquette.
So why not search online? Surely there is some insight into the do’s and do not’s or the right scenarios where texting can be applied vs. email. Not quite, you will find the same results as you would asking colleagues – there are a lot of varying opinions. That’s where I thought: why not throw another opinion out there for people to read? Let’s first review the two types of information:
Email is an old technology.
In terms of computer technological advancements, it is pretty old. Throughout human history, it is pretty new, as is with all technology. Email was invented in 1972 by VA Shiva Ayyaduria and was initially used by the military to send information. Learn more about the history of email here. In the past several decades, it has become the primary form of communication and around 293 billion emails are sent per day in 2019.
There is a more comprehensive list of email statistics found on supplygem.com’s article where it showcases that the average American worker receives 126 emails per day.
Texting is a new technology.
Thanks to the rise of smart phones, texting has become easier than ever before, with the first text being sent in 1992. People use it in their daily activities for their personal lives and professional lives, sending an average of 8 trillion texts every year.
Some of these stats are a few years old, so the numbers may have changed slightly, but you get the idea.
So… texting or email for work?
From my experience working professionally, email is far more efficient and reliable than texting when sending important information regarding projects, scheduling a meeting or sending contracts.
Here is why email is more effective:
- Email allows you to store information for years on end.
- It allows you to organize messages into folders (tags, archiving, etc.).
- You can easily send the message to multiple people through CC or secretly through BCC.
- It can be accessed on various devices and you can attach media files.
Why Texting is not:
- Information can be lost for good if your phone is turned off or you have to replace the device.
- Information can be delayed based on cellular connectivity.
- Not all providers and devices share information the same way (such as images, video, contact cards, multi-person messages, etc.) which can distort your message’s intent.
- People change their number. In a working setting, an email is unlikely to change unless the person quits their job. If they do, it will more likely forward to another person or you are notified that the email has bounced.
Texting has its place.
Don’t get me wrong, texting is valuable. It simply was never intended to be used as a primary source of sending primary information about business. Texting should be used to send short spurts of info such as confirming a location or informing people you are running a bit behind or a urgent matter that needs an instant response. And no, not everything is urgent, you become “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” if you play that card every time.
Treat email as writing a letter and texting as an immediate message for the scenario.
Do you agree with the thoughts above or do you have your own preferences regarding when texting and email should be used within a professional environment? Share in the comments!