Email Deluge Swamping Worker Efficiency: Varonis
A survey by Varonis found that 40 percent of respondents spend 30 minutes or more every day managing their email.Surging numbers of emails cause workers to spend countless hours sorting, filing, flagging and tagging instead of focusing on action items, according to a survey of nearly 100 organizations by data governance software provider Varonis. The study, which questioned employees about their digital habits and vices, found that nearly a quarter receive between 100 and 1,000 emails. One in 10 workers now faces more than 10,000 emails in their inbox. The problem has grown so bad that 43 percent of those surveyed said they routinely abandon their inboxes altogether in favor of a virtual coffee break. "We see a growing trend of people struggling, and in some cases even giving up on—or deleting—their entire inboxes. It also appears that overstretched employees are seeking more ways to clear their heads by taking virtual coffee breaks to browse the Web or social networks," David Gibson, vice president of strategy for Varonis, said in a statement. The survey found that 40 percent of respondents spend 30 minutes or more every day managing their email, in addition to reading and responding, equating to 120 hours every year. To stay on top of the email flood, employees appear to take three different approaches. The majority, 44 percent, practice a hybrid of hoarding emails and filing emails. Hoarders—those who never delete messages—make up 17 percent of the workforce, while 34 percent of those questioned clear their inbox on a daily basis and file messages into folders.
"Whether they are distracted by a host of different media or simply slaving away to deal with their inboxes, if employees can't regain control of the volumes of work they are bombarded with, they are likely to make mistakes," said Gibson.