ONE hour each working day is lost for every employee because email is being used ineffectively or misused.
That’s the claim by the organisers of the seventh international Clean Out Your Inbox Week, which finishes tomorrow.
Three of the world’s email experts, including Dorset’s Dr Monica Seeley, are urging businesses to start turning email back into a valuable asset that will improve profitability and productivity.
But they say this requires people and organisations to share and apply best practice.
Although social media has replaced email as the communication channel of choice for many people, businesses and international economies still rely on email.
Around 507 billion emails are sent every day, but Dr Seeley says many companies are locked into a cycle of email dependency and misuse.
Dr Seeley, author of Brilliant Email, says a typical European business user receives around 67 emails per day.
She said: “It’s no wonder many people can't keep up with their inboxes and simply declare email bankruptcy. But the solution is for companies, workgroups and individuals to use email more effectively. “For example, most of us need less than half the email we receive. On average one hour of productivity per person is lost every working day of the year because of ineffective use of email and email misuse. That’s roughly £4,200 per employee, per year.”
Dr Seeley sought views from a number of leading business people, including Jeremy King, client services director of BLAC Agency. He said: “E-mail has rapidly morphed from a wonderful business tool to the bane of managers’ lives. But it’s still the best business communications method. “We will be reviewing our current practices, but, as an advertising agency we have an extremely high ratio of ‘digital natives’. For them and current ‘twentysomethings’ email management and getting to ‘Inbox zero’ seems to come naturally.
Dr Seeley, with Marsha Egan in the US and Steuart Snooks in Australia, is posting tips at facebook.com/inboxweek, on Twitter at #cleaninbox and on the web.
Dr Seeley’s business, the Mesmo Consultancy, is at mesmo.co.uk