I know its not strictly related to what people ask here but I have to ask this anyway.
Isn't having long conversations/discussions over emails reduce one's productivity. I have joined this new company where people prefer emails alot. It's not a big company so every one is accessible to everyone and also senior techies tend to get together for a 30 mins session every day to discuss and plan things with managers and stake holders.
I think emails are great and should be used as long as they are to the point and don't waste anyone's time. In my professional experience getting or agreeing things over emails quickly becomes an endless game of ping-pong. Reaching to a conclusion often takes days just because.. oh well..not everyone has enough time to go through lengthy emails. Email subjects often become less subjective and more "re:re:re:re:fw:". After few "re:re's" and "fw:fw's" it becomes a nightmare to find what you're looking for since not every single thing in emails is a key-point so coming back to conversation after 8-9 months is like going through someone's source code writen in C.
It's also not the best approach for discussing ideas or agreeing over things as most people tend to be more reserved in email conversations than they are in real life because it's very easy to misinterpret one's tone.
Most of the times I find it much easier and quicker to send an email saying "Lets discuss thing X at xx:xx" followed by a quick call at agreed time rather than dragging the issue for days (or in some cases weeks). When needed I follow up with an email saying "well here's what we agreed on the phone".
Also people are generally more respectful to each other and open to discussions when talking face to face or over the phone.
Don't get me wrong, emails are important and should be used whenever they are absolutely necessary. But in small/medium sized teams why is this culture (of writing long stories i.e. emails) so so important ? why don't people use tools like Basecamp, redmine, wiki's instead.
How would you improve your team or company's communications so people become more productive and create a friendly environment.
Thank you for reading.