When would you use email versus messaging? [Infographic]


When would you use email versus messaging?

You’re about to send a message updating your coworker Jim about your latest project. Do you write out an email or do you send them a chat over messaging?

Email and messaging are two sides of the same coin. Both are virtual means of communication that can compliment each other within the workplace, but there are certain cases when using messaging is better to use over email or when email is better to use rather than messaging. It all depends on the situation.

Here's a look at the traditional tradeoffs between email and messaging.

Traditionally, the best cases to use email are when:
 • The content is just too lengthy for messaging
 • The message it is information heavy
 • The message it requires formality
 • It is first time you contact someone

The best cases to use messaging are when:
 • It needs to be quick and timely
 • The message is concise
 • It is a dialogue with multiple people
 • The discussion is meant to be more casual

Here's why: 

Email is asynchronous which means an email that you send to your coworker is not real-time like messaging is. This is a key difference for the reasoning behind using one versus the other. Messaging is instant, so it would be faster than email when it comes to sending information to someone.
According to a study about the use of messaging by IBM, the main reason why people choose to use messaging over any other medium at a given moment is because it allows for "quick response" and "rapid, short answers."

Messaging was originally meant to be brief whereas email could handle bulkier, content heavy messages. This is a perk when it comes to messaging because it means you can be more casual and quick about what you have to say. Asking coworkers to grab lunch with you is better communicated through messaging whereas giving someone lengthy details about a report would be better via email.

Both email and messaging is both used for dialogue, but back-and-forth email is much different than messaging. Messaging is best if the conversation is going to continue for more than just a few sentences. Messaging also reflects face-to-face chatting more than email does, which is also a reason behind using one over the other when it comes to long online conversations.   

According to a study from The Radicati Group, “the business use of IM is currently growing at a much faster pace than the use of IM by consumers.” The study looks at all kinds of messaging including instant messaging, public IM, enterprise IM, and mobile messaging. The growth of messaging shows that email is not the only way to send a message at work.

These days, using messaging is close to being best option.  Still, the some tradeoffs of messaging can be painful, so we're building Team.biz to offer both the instantness of messaging and the professionalism of email.