Email at Work

by Barbara Buffton

Curse or blessing?

How real is the fear?

‘I’m afraid that a vital and urgent email will be missed.’

What is this fear costing you? How many emails never get delivered anyway? If it’s a real emergency, they will probably call. How real is this fear?

Charles C Noble

Are you one of the millions of people who start their working day off with email?

If your answer is ‘yes’, then you also know that email can disrupt your existing plans for the day. Once you access your inbox, the danger is that the wonderful management tool that is email will start to distract you from what you actually should be doing.

Email is popular, but time-consuming:


Research shows that a typical corporate user sends and receives about 110 emails daily.

Obviously, email has many benefits:

  • Business tool for communication
  • Time-saving
  • Global access
  • Cost-saving
  • Helps with stress (by saving time)
  • Enhances productivity (speed and 24-hour accessibility).

Unfortunately, these same benefits can also cause us problems. Do you feel out of control and dread opening up your inbox in the morning? Is your inbox overflowing, so that you can’t even find the one email you know you need to respond to? If the answer to either question is yes, then you are experiencing some of the downsides to email, such as the potential for

  • Stress
  • Time-wasting
  • Causing low productivity.

Can you get your inbox down to below 20 emails – and make it stay like that for a week? Notice how it feels and notice the effect on your productivity. Why not do it for another week, then another, until that becomes your ‘standard’?

And then get it down to below ten...