Email – a bonus or a burden?

The first email was sent in 1971 by computer engineer Raymond Tomlinson. Since then, email has spiralled beyond any expectations to become the leading form of business communication. However, it comes with its own issues and is frequently blamed for overloading employees. Reportedly, it takes 64 seconds to get back to work after opening an email. With multiple emails popping up throughout the day, this can detract from your productivity.


Email overload

Nowadays, email is not the one stop shop for communication. Many different platforms exist, from Whatsapp to Skype and even text messaging. Collaborative workplaces, like Podio and Asana, allow employees to work on the same projects and can cut down on email use. But how important is cutting back?

In 2015, there were 2.6 billion email users, a number that’s expected to grow to 2.9 billion by 2019. The average employee spends 28% of their working week reading and responding to emails, according to a survey by McKinsey Global. This equates to 650 hours spent on emails per year – clearly a time sink when you’re trying to run a business.

‘Email overload’ increases stress and hampers productivity, but companies cannot just completely remove email. A study found that employees didn’t want email taken away completely – just for them to be made simpler.

Managing emails

Cutting down on wasted time is key to turning email into a useful tool for your business or daily life. Further, emails can be a potential source of cyberattacks through the use of social engineering and impersonation. When looking to improve the business email process, a vital aspect to consider would be email security, through measures such as behavioral profiling and threat elimination ( can offer a more in-depth look at this). Besides that, here are some top tips for cutting down on email wastage and optimising your time spent checking your inbox.

  • Devise a routine to avoid wasting time checking your inbox. The ‘Pomodoro’ technique, for instance, is a system that sees you working for 25 minutes before spending 5 checking and responding to emails.
  • Using an email management tool such as Mail Manager by Oasys Software can help file, share and archive emails quickly and efficiently.
  • Turn off notifications during work hours so you don’t get distracted. Use your proactive time to check emails for importance.
  • In each email, set the intention and the goals you’d like to achieve. No communications should have unclear agendas.

By following these tips, you can save time on wasted emails and increase your overall productivity. Whether you’re a business owner, entrepreneur or just an SME looking to save time, cutting back on emails can prevent stress and increase your time efficiency. Start making email a bonus rather than a burden!


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