The disadvantages of email for business

Written by laura acevedo
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The disadvantages of email for business

Around the world, businesses utilise e-mail for communication, data transfer and collaboration. E-mail has been an effective tool for increasing business productivity and increasing data reliability. However, the ease of using e-mail and the decreased formality can create unprofessional communications and data overload. Using e-mail for business also has the disadvantage of opening your computer network to potential viruses and malware sent through e-mail attachments.

Decreased Management Levels

Employees at all levels of the business can send e-mails to anyone in the business. This ease of sending messages bypasses the established chain-of-command and disrupts the standard review processes for human resource-related issues. This informality can also cause a disruption to executives who need to focus on high-level opportunities rather than day-to-day personnel issues.


The ease of sending e-mails can decrease the accuracy of information. As a more informal medium, senders typically respond to messages quickly and do not review information. Employees may also feel pressured to respond to requests quickly without regard to accuracy. When messages are sent with inaccurate information, it can be difficult to correct the error due to the rapid dissemination of e-mail to other parties.


E-mail can increase business competition. Customers can forward sales quotes to competitors soliciting lower prices. If they receive a lower price, they may go with a competitor or come back requesting an even lower price. E-mail also makes it easier for your customers to work with offshore companies that provide services at lower prices due to lower wages and the lower cost of living in developing nations.


E-mail can lead to a lower level of professionalism. Employees tend to use a less formal approach to communications when using e-mails, which can appear unprofessional to current and potential clients. Creative formatting through text and colour changes can appear juvenile and inconsistent with your company profile.

Increased Employment

E-mail can increase the need for employees. Additional customer service employees may be needed to answer consumer e-mails, and more executive assistants may be needed to help sort and answer e-mail communications for busy executives.

Information Overload

E-mail can easily create information overload in recipients. The ease of copying messages throughout the organisation can overload employees with unwanted or unnecessary information to review. Information overload decreases productivity.


Data security can be difficult to maintain since sensitive information can easily be sent by e-mail. Viruses sent through e-mail attachments, which cause computer system damage and data loss, can compromise computer networks.

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