Email or meeting?

Every week or so I see a post on LinkedIn about whether that meeting should have been an email.

There are several ways to think about this and most seem to focus, and rightly so, on the impact on productivity and time management – having a meeting to share news or a project update when it could easily be a short email, makes sense.

Here’s another thought about the question … what’s the environmental impact of that decision? Considering how often my computer’s fan comes on to cool itself down when I’m on a Teams call, I’m guessing a Teams call really get’s the processor hot and bothered, so it’s only natural to link a higher power usage to a Teams call than reading an email, yes? I know my computer’s fan isn’t active when I’m normally browsing, writing emails or reports, or doing other computer-based activities. But when I’m on a video call … woh, that’s when it heats up.

This was sparked at the weekend by my eldest relating a fact he’d heard at school, from the science teacher – a single search on a popular search engine uses as much power as is needed to heat a kettle. I have no idea if this is true, but there are articles debunking it if you look.

The email vs online meeting can really divide an audience, and I believe there will not be a definitive answer to satisfy everyone. So long as you practice consistency then go with what suits you and the team/organisation you work with, based on the topic’s importance, urgency, required audience, etc.

The amount of time wasted in meetings and in email is staggering … 36% of people do not believe the volume of email they receive is appropriate for their role, and that 27% of all meeting time is wasted. One simple solution to this egregious misuse of time is simply knowing when email is the right medium versus when a live discussion is required.

‘To Meet Or Email — That Is The Question’ by Shani Harmon

I get more emails than I can handle. Every day, I watch as the unread messages in my inbox pile up despite my best efforts. It’s not because I spend too much time responding to the emails that matter — I spend too much time reading the ones that don’t.  There are newsletters, brand-outreach spam, press releases, recruiters, social-media updates — emails that are almost never urgent but still make me feel obliged to check to make sure I’m not missing anything important. Even carefully deployed filters go only so far to keep the ever-growing volume of unwanted emails at bay. One study found that more than half of our emails were not important, and another study found that one-quarter of an average American’s workday was spent answering and reading emails. This cascade of digital messages is making us miserable.

‘The AI revolution is coming for your email’ by Shubham Agarwal

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