Email Overload? YouΓÇÖre Not Alone
Feeling overwhelmed by emails? YouΓÇÖre not alone. The average UK worker sends and receives 10,000 emails a year.
ThatΓÇÖs according to a new study produced by Warwick Business School, which reveals the statistics behind office workersΓÇÖ increasingly plugged-in lives.
On the face of it, 10,000 emails might seem like a lot, but it actually equates to 40 emails a day over the course of the average working year. And if this is you, consider yourself lucky ΓÇô one in twelve workers sends and receives more than 100 emails a day. They are likely to be among the one in ten workers who now spend their entire working day at a computer or on a mobile phone. For some, even this isnΓÇÖt enough, with 57% also accessing their email outside working hours.
Does it make us more productive? Office workers seem to think so, with 58% claiming that communications technology such as computers and mobile phones have improved their workplace productivity.
However, according to data from the Office for National Statistics, productivity in the UK workplace has risen by just 2% since 1973. ItΓÇÖs a comparatively small increase when you consider the huge developments in workplace technology which have taken place during that time.
Warwick Business SchoolΓÇÖs Will Skillman explains: ΓÇ£Since the 1950s, technology in the workplace has changed dramatically from telephones and typewriters to advanced personal computers, mobile communications equipment and tablet devices. Our study shows that British workers are now hugely reliant on electrical appliances throughout the working day and while on the move and feel this has improved their productivity.
ΓÇ£Yet what isn’t clear is whether this technology-powered workplace is directly helping to improve how we work or if we are just replacing old technologies with new. Certainly the rise of the mobile office means that workers can stay plugged in on the move and for longer periods of time, but whether this has resulted in a more productive workforce remains to be seen.ΓÇ¥
In other words, shiny new electronic devices and continual access to a never-ending stream of email might make workers feel more productive, but we are yet to see the evidence to back this up.
And there are those who believe email has actually come to hinder workersΓÇÖ productivity, like global business technologists Atos. Their decision back in 2011 to ban all internal emails caused a stir but despite the many critics who claimed it wouldnΓÇÖt work, the initiative is still going strong.
Atos even produced a study which revealed that office workers waste 40% of their working week on internal email.
However, Chief Executive Thierry BretonΓÇÖs assertion that email is an outdated mode of communication among the new generation of graduates might warrant another look. Warwick Business SchoolΓÇÖs study also revealed that a quarter of todayΓÇÖs workers donΓÇÖt remember life without email ΓÇô which means weΓÇÖre probably not ready to call time on the inbox just yet.
Has technology made todayΓÇÖs office workers more productive? Do we spend too much time on email? Share your opinion in the comments below.
Elsewhere on the BlogΓÇª
- Tech Shaping the Future of the Office
- Facebook Fever: Friend Feed Steals Focus in Meetings
- Don’t Send: The Worst Office Emails