It’s Mental Health Awareness Week. Email overload is a major cause of stress and hence poor well-being. Over the last few weeks there have been several interesting articles on different ways to reduce the stress which arises from business email overload and poor business email etiquette.
It’s often hard enough to pluck up the courage to ask someone for support for example cover whilst on leave, sponsorship etc. Recent research showed that people are 35 times more likely to say yes if asked face-to-face or by phone than by email. Perhaps not a surprising result given how emails can either be mis-interpreted or even lost in a full inbox. Stop stressing about when you will receive a response, go and walk and talk.
Processing an email costs the average business about £.75 per email. Ten pointless rounds of email pong-pong is £7.50 down the sink. Played by ten pairs of employees at least five times a week – your business has now wasted the equivalent of £750 a week. Can you really afford to lose this much profit not to mention time and productivity?
The CIPD found that although job satisfaction is up and work is more flexible than ever, one in three people are looking for a less stressful job. One significant source of stress being the feeling that you are always available and find it hard to switch off. Graduates and senior staff being most at risk. The question is why and who is making these demands on your time? Often no one – they are self inflicted. Top three solutions, set your own boundaries, find the off-button or have a second mobile device for personal use. If none of these work – peel some potatoes!
Email and sleep deprivation remains a significant problem according to the latest research from the Sleep Council. Emailing late at night continues to disrupt our sleep patterns. as worrying is the fact that those turning to alcohol is up by 10% over the past few years.
Not specifically about email but there is an underlying message on business email etiquette. Make sure your emails are positive even when the news is bad. Always, try to pick out one up-side.
Although this wide ranging article is aimed at accountants, it contains some very useful tips for us all about how to handle increasing workloads but reduce the associated stress. On the email side the key suggestion is to deal with email in batches instead of being constantly interrupted. Where have you heard that before? If you must see emails from key people then write a rule which alerts you to only these emails.(About 1.5 minutes in on this video).
7.How to get post Blackberry Blackberry. For those still depressed over the demise of the Blackberry, there is hope of a shinny new version. Just take care that you are not feeding your email addiction.
Here are five articles which caught our eye over the last few weeks. It’s a mixed bunch including the importance of checking your junk folder from time to time, what constitutes a strong password and how to improve office communications by placing more emphasis on the human aspect of work. Click here for more.
1. Always check your junk folder (carefully) – Australian author Helen Garner was almost $207,000 out of pocket recently, when an email telling her she had won a new prize went straight to her junk folder. She naturally thought is was a hoax.
2. Emails reveal trading behaviour during crisis. The Libor scandal erupted nearly five years ago and yet still email evidence is emerging about how traders manipulated the markets. Although largely related to the financial aspects of Citibank’s troubles, this article underpins two fundamental principles. First, you never know what happens to an email once it leaves your inbox. You only have control over what you say not who does what with it. Second, email is a picture of you, a point Barclays Bank found to their horror.
3. Working human: after all, what’s the alternative? We spend more time at work and isolated in our blinkered world of email and social media than ever before. Some companies are now looking at ways to make work more enjoyable and increase the level of personal contact. This overview includes case histories.
4. Better password? Pretend you eat kale. Did you know that password built around the ‘I eat kale’ is significantly stronger than one built on ‘I love you’. Here is why and how to build on that philosophy to develop your own strong and robust passwords. Click here for more tips on this setting strong passwords to reduce cyber crime.
5. After hours email checking consumes a month a year. A recent US survey found that we now spend at least one hour of our own time checking office emails. There is little doubt the same behaviour persist in the UK. Indeed the French Government are considering legislation to banning access to work email after work hours.
Many of the challenges highlighted in these articles contribute to corporate email overload and hence drain you and your organisation’s productivity.
You will find some advice and tips on how to reduce the email stress levels in both ‘Brilliant Email‘ and ‘Taking Control of Your Inbox‘. And Mesmo Consultancy can always come and run a Brilliant Email workshop to help you and your organisation improve performance.