Marc Powell, MD of Emailogic, says a special holiday survey found that employees feel ‘overwhelmed’, ‘stressed’ or ‘depressed’ after returning to work to deal with potentially thousands of emails. One person even said they felt suicidal at the thought of sorting emails so that their normal day to day work could be resumed.
Over half of respondents also said they were receiving more emails than they were a year ago. Business users of email send and receive an average of 71 emails per day with some receiving 200 or more and disturbingly, irrelevant emails waste 3.5 years of a manager’s life. Yet this research shows that it is possible to save 16.8 days ever year or 31 minutes a day, by working with email more effectively.
Powell says, “The problem understandably becomes acute in holiday season. Yet there are ways of dealing with email so it doesn’t have to be a bane of returning to work. What’s more, the solution doesn’t have to be expensive.”
He says it is simply necessary to know the tricks before going on holiday and then structuring a very simple process on return. “It’s not rocket science, but it is massively helpful to get on top of the phenomenal modern-day problem that has built up with ‘simple’ electronic communication.”
“Paternal benefits, which companies can spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on, are eradicated in one fell swoop. Why would a company want an employee to return to work instantly harassed, when they could be at peak productivity after relaxing on holiday?”
He gives two tips. By using ‘Rules’ in Outlook, employees can automatically move all emails to a folder they create called ‘holiday’ while they are away. Then, simply create an ‘out of office’ message that explains the dates of the holiday and asks people to resend emails of any outstanding issues on the date of return. This means that when they return from holiday they can get to work on the most important items straight away, and check other emails as necessary.