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Pointless Emails Waste Three Years of Managers’ Lives


Managers are estimated to spend three-and-a-half years eading irrelevant e-mails, according to a management school.

Research by Henley Management College found that 32% of the messages received by180 senior managers surveyed were considered immaterial.

It also found that European managers spend at least two hours per day dealing with e-mail communications – equating to around 10 years of a worker’s life.

The study recommends that managers question the extensive use of e-mail, particularly for internal transactions as a substitute for face-to-face meetings or telephone discussions, particularly as e-mail is seen to prolong decision-making.

Peter Thomson, director of the Future Work Forum at Henley Management College, said: “Our research proves that e-mail use is out of control, often causing confusion and inertia. It also paints a bleak picture of silent offices where colleagues e-mail rather than talk face to face.

Using a phone with a wireless headset also increased work-related productivity by 23% by allowing staff to multi-task and concentrate more effectively, the study found.

“Time wasted on e-mail also has social implications as workers interact less with each other,” Thomson added. “Where speaking on the phone was actually found to build relationships, use of e-mail was seen to weaken them.”


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