Can you imagine a time when there were no Emails? Not a distant past – but these days it is unacceptable if someone challenges you not to check your email for a week! For most of us continuous checking of Emails is an addiction, be it a at work or at home. Emails or instant messaging are very efficient communication tools but overuse results in reduced productivity at work and often wastage of work hours in a time-consuming email management.
Workers are rediscovering the value of face-to-face communications at one company where ‘no e-mail Fridays’ have improved productivity and teamwork.” Read more at the Business Week article.

Some other tips to avoid Email distractions:

  • If you have the option of sound turned on when you receive a new Email – and you have enabled it, please turn it off. Even if you are in the middle of high intensity work that requires your full concentration, whenever you hear the “ting” or “tong” the eye does turn to see who has sent this new Email. Apart from it being a major distracter for you, it annoys the ones around your cubicle too.
  • When you have some tasks to complete and need focus and concentration, schedule some slots of time in a day when you would check your email and not as-soon-as-it-arrives? For example how about checking Emails when you arrive at work and resolve the issues at hand and then check them again after you are back from your lunch and an hour before you leave work.
  • You may even ask your friends and family to write to you at a personal Email address rather than your office one. This way you know if you have to check only on your family matters during the day, you can only access your personal Email during the time you have assigned for checking Emails.
  • In case you have to concentrate on work at hand for a longer duration, set up an autoresponder which lets your clients / boss know that you are not available to reply to the Email within a certain time frame. If the issue is really urgent, your boss will walk up to you, so do not feel guilty at all.

Excessive Email Usage and Blogging at Work could result in Job Termination!

An article that might interest you (if this post does) Email Abuse at Work Could Get You Fired.

Another recent article on Netiquette: The Niceties Of Workplace Email Use has some interesting statistics:
A 2006 survey of 416 companies by the ePolicy Institute in Columbus, Ohio, concludes that 26% of them have fired employees for inappropriate email conduct. That’s up from 21% in 2001. More and more companies are monitoring their employees’ emails and adopting more-stringent use policies.


Another article at the American Management Association website states:
Increasingly, employers are fighting back by firing workers who violate computer privileges. Fully 26% of employers have terminated employees for e-mail misuse. Another 2% have dismissed workers for inappropriate instant messenger (IM) chat. And nearly 2% have fired workers for offensive blog content—including posts on employees’ personal home-based blogs.
Employee bloggers, who can be fired, or “dooced” in blog parlance, for blogging at work (and at home on their own computers) face increasing risk of termination by employers struggling to keep a lid on legal claims, regulatory fines, and security breaches. With the blogosphere growing at the rate of one new blog per second, industry experts expect the ranks of dooced employee bloggers to swell.

Do you think less time on Emails could mean increased productivity at work?