Email banned: Now what?

At the time of the announcement, Breton said: "If people want to talk to me, call or send me a text message," said Breton. "Emails cannot replace the spoken word."

After the announcement that Atos was going to eradicate the use of email, it announced its Zero Email social collaboration platform.

The collaboration platform allows instant discussion between its employees rather than sending emails back and forth all day. It lets employees conduct virtual meetings and set up communities. They can also access directories to find employee profiles and find relevant experts across the world, also working for Atos.

Employees can work more easily and co-create with their teams. Anyone in the whole company can post content so they are able to share ideas in real time, on any device. These are just some of the benefits gained as a result, according to Atos.

Now, three years after Breton announced he wanted his staff to stop using internal emails to communicate, Atos claims products have a faster time to market while the company has fuelled innovation and enhanced social wellbeing among its workers.

Although there's still a long way to go before all email - both internal and external - is banned, starting with cutting down on internal emails will encourage employees to work together more and can have other positive effects.

With a wealth of alternative communication tools available, including IM and the growing trend of companies introducing corporate social networks, we have to ask ourselves: Is it really that important to press send on that internal email when, chances are, your colleagues are based in the same building?

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.