Is Email Just A Waste Of Time? One Company Ditches Email Altogether

Nov 30 2011

Think about it. How effective is the email you send and receive? According to French tech company Atos, only 10% of inter-office emails have any value whatsoever. Because of this, Atos has banned inter-office emails for all of it’s 74,000 employees.

After originally announcing the plan in February, CEO Thierry Breton had this to say…

“We are producing data on a massive scale that is fast polluting our working environments and also encroaching into our personal lives. At Atos we are taking action now to reverse this trend, just as organizations took measures to reduce environmental pollution after the industrial revolution.”

Atos has implemented an inter-office instant messaging system and their own Facebook-style board as well. With tools such as Microsoft Lync available in the corporate environment now, I think more and more companies will start taking this same approach. I doubt most companies will go as far as to ban emails altogether, but having worked in a corporate environment for 10+ years, I can attest to the fact that most inter-office emails are pretty much pointless at this point. It’s much easier to pick up a phone or IM someone. Email is still great for sending attachments, but a lot of companies are now implementing Sharepoint and other file-sharing programs. Atos has even launched it’s own chat system with video conferencing and file sharing capabilities.

Even in our personal lives, text messaging and phone video chat have become more commonplace than email. It is possible to send pictures, videos, and even documents like PDF’s via text these days. With all that said, I can see where Atos is coming from. I don’t think email will ever go away but there are definitely more effective ways of conducting business these days. Atos is probably a bit ahead of the curve, surprising considering they’re a multi-billion dollar business still running their website on a .NET.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. DomainFuze!

    I’m a big fan of this bold approach. As an employee, I have always assumed that there is a person in my company whose sole job is to sift through all internal e-mails and IMs. Therefore, I never send internal e-mails for fear of the Big Brother factor. On the flip side, nothing good ever comes of the internal e-mails that I receive…so I rarely even open them. I can only hope that meetings are next. As @37Signals says…Meetings are Toxic!

  2. Iain Taylor

    Great post Chris. I agree with this approach 100% – sometimes my inbox has very few client emails compared to the masses of internal emails. Imagine the attention you could give your clients if you only had their emails to deal with. I am going to give this a go. btw “ReWork” by Jason Fried of 37 signals is a great read full of ideas to help you run a business effectively.


    I definitely see the advantage of newer more direct forms of communication.
    So then…how do I get in “the right loop” when I’m trying to sell a domain to someone?

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