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An Office Without Email?

WordPress has the 15th most popular website on the planet, 170 employees, and no offices. Employees work remotely, collaborating online instead of in person. That's not so unusual in the 21st-century office. What's different about the gang at WordPress is that they do this without using email.

email 

(Photo Credit: cambodia4kidsorg/Flickr)

That's right: no email at all. Instead, employees communicate via blog posts. Employees sign up to follow blogs that cover projects that they're working on, and anything that needs to be communicated to the team is posted on the appropriate blog.

Scott Berkun, author of The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work, offers an explanation of how all this works in a recent post on Levo League. The bottom line is, the email-free office is appropriate for WordPress because of the way they do business. For instance:

1. Most people do stuff.

"... [M]ost of their 170 employees do actual work -- they write code, design features or directly help customers," writes Berkun. "And they're empowered to be aggressive in their jobs, making live changes to the service dozens of times a day with no approval chain or executive review board."

This means that there are fewer folks who convey decisions as a big part of their job. That cuts out a huge group of email users, right there. 

2. Less office politics.

When everyone can see what you're doing, there's no need to spend time making sure your supervisors know that you're doing your job. Think of your inbox, right now. How much of its contents are people covering their behinds or impressing their bosses?

3. Fewer meetings.

If you deleted every meeting agenda and recap from your inbox, you'd probably make quite a dent in your correspondence. WordPress has few meetings, so there's no need for people to send emails about them. Again, workers keep track of and communicate about their projects using blogs -- no need for electronic memos.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you think email is necessary, or a waste of time? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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