Office email: a waste of time

If you’ve read my book, you may recall that I was a little critical of over-reliance on email as a means to communicate within project teams (p.24). On today I read that "email is a productivity killer in the enterprise".

Research by Mirapoint showed that nearly a quarter of all emails in corporate inboxes are personal, mixed in with large volumes of spam and irrelevant work emails. Personal use of corporate email is high – nearly three-quarters of respondents forwarded jokes, video clips and photos to others within the company – and security considerations were not always applied – a quarter of respondents said they forwarded business emails to their personal email accounts, and 62% said they have sent business emails from their personal accounts.

Earlier Mirapoint research found that 33 per cent of email in corporate inboxes is spam – leaving just 44 per cent of email as legitimate business mail.

As an extranet enthusiast, this confirms to me the wisdom of organisations which seek to bypass the productivity-killing bottleneck of email by using dedicated, project-specific platforms to manage their teams’ communications. The more sophisticated collaboration systems offer email-type channels, but with all information exchanges tracked and audited, employees know they must focus on the project and not use these for personal reasons. In such circumstances, staff can be confident that all communications they receive are project-specific and relevant to their roles and responsibilities.

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