Do you know how emails your staff send and receive each day?
Research by Radicati found that the average office worker receives 121 emails per day. Yes, most of these are probably spam. However, how many of these would have been dealt quicker with a phone call?
It’s no surprise, seeing how 95% of companies still use email as their main mode of communicating internally.
This is despite companies having access to newer technologies, particularly instant messaging, video conferencing and other modern formats.
What do workers think about this?
A separate study (Adobe) claimed 55% workers agreed that excessive emails prevented them from doing their primary duties. So how much time and money are wasted from email overload?
The same Adobe study claimed workers spend three hours per day on their emails. Based on the UK minimum wage, that’s £6,600 per year.
As well as the feeling of stress when returning to an overloaded inbox, email can distract workers from the primary duties while they deal with unimportant messages.
Clare Burge, who runs a Dublin-based consultancy firm, set an automatic response to her emails asking people to call her instead when she returned from leave to 10,000 new emails.
Speaking to the BBC, she said people “dump tasks into each other’s inboxes,” and this causes workers to “became a slave” to their inbox, checking their email from first thing in the morning until they go to bed.
What about those 5% companies who aren’t using emails in the workplace?
Thierry Breton, CEO of Atos, a French Information Technology firm, announced a ban on all internal emails in 2011. His reason for this was because the company was “producing data on a massive scale that is fast polluting our working environments and also encroaching into our personal lives.”
Atos’ digital communication transitioned to a large social network that’s used by their 80,000 employees. As a result, employees are not distracted by an email notification in the bottom left of their screen. As an alternative, staff can drop in and out of conversations based on their schedule.
A private study in 2014 showed average employee emails went from 100 per week to less than 40. Employees now report feeling far more productive and collaborative,
Many other companies have followed suit since then, looking to help employees maintain work-life balance and improve productivity.
A UK-based housing organisation Halton Housing Trust, which manages thousands of homes, was one of them.
Then-CEO Nick Atkin noted the Atos’ research suggesting staff spent 40% of the working week dealing with internal email that added no value to the business. This meant that no one at the company “does anything of benefit or added value until Wednesday”.
He also claimed staff are “addicted to email and as such, have an irrational response with this is about to be taken away from them.”
Is there a future for email?
There are more than 5 billion active email accounts worldwide. So realistically, an email-less future seems unlikely.
Something which Burge agrees with: “I do still use email on a daily basis because I haven’t converted all seven billion people on the planet. Until I have got everyone to do this, I will still have to email people.”
With the emergence of sophisticated communication and collaboration tools, it’s likely that more companies will be inspired to replace internal emails with other solutions.
Joe Verde, CEO of PSP-IT said:
“These email statistics show just how much of an impact excessive emails make on staff productivity. One client, a CEO, was concerned about employee email volumes, response times to customers and wasted time across his organisation. He approached us to ask if we could create software that would measure these metrics.
So, we built Outlook Email Tracker, to help identify all emails and measure response times. Instantly, we could see the value for both PSP and for every Senior Manager in any industry.”
For more information on Outlook Email Tracker, visit: www.outlooktracker.com