You’ve got Mail – and Stress
>> Don't blame your computer for your email stress!
By Heidi Bedore
Workers spend over 50 hours cleaning out their workplace junk mail folder each year, says a UK study on e-mail at work. Imagine if your household junk drawer got that much attention!
In an era when many workers prefer to shoot off an e-mail than pick up the phone, the survey uncovered the truth: so much e-mail leaves workers frustrated; slowing their productivity. In fact, dealing with evil e-mail monsters can consume up to 50% of the workday, leaving little time to get down to business.
Although checking e-mail can be more exciting then unwrapping the biggest present under the tree, many workers would prefer that Santa skip their inbox altogether. Around one third of workers say they experience stress due to their sky-high piles of e-mail, causing them to get discouraged when the e-mail pile never depletes.
If all e-mail was filled with love notes, relevant work news and spam-free fun, then an inbox chock full of mail would be welcomed with open arms. That's not so, according to Mary Hensher, IT head at Deloitte accounting firm. Hensher points out that workers are most fed up with unwanted mail that turns out mysteriously in their inbox and the messages that were sent by accident. If mail is wanted and directed toward the receiver – Hensher says that a bloated inbox is normally no problemo.
Sir Spams-a-Lot Responsible?
Are misaddressed emails to blame for all workplace mail frustration? Me thinks that the shear number of mails sent each day has a role to play in email-inspired fury.
In the UK alone, the “send” button gets clicked over a million times a minute. Visits from the Spam Man are mostly to blame, as spam and viruses make up 70% of all email sent around the world. “Email Stress” from this mix of undesired and misaddressed mail causes frustrations for workers, not to mention a growing distain for canned meats.
Processed meats and letters from the Nigerian Prince aside, some claim that copious amounts of e-mail can actually help workers perform better. Although a third of workers would rather pull out their hair than open another email, another third say the extra pressure of a full inbox causes them to perform faster and better than when the inbox is bone dry.
Avoid Mid-week Mails and Save the Stress
Want to send an e-mail without stressing out the receiver? Internet marketing types Email Labs say those looking to avoid sending on busy email days should avoid sending messages on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
If your message can’t wait until Friday, bite the bullet and pick up the phone. Just watch out for answer machine message build-up – it’s even worse than your black hole of an inbox.