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HOW EMAIL AFFECTS PRODUCTIVITY

Aug 01 2016

The UK has some of the longest working hours in Europe but this does not always translate into increased business productivity. In fact, the growing hyper-responsive work culture often causes employees to spend more time tending to their email inbox rather than working effectively on their important work or projects. 

Frenetic intra-office emailing can set up a debilitating cycle where the more emails sent, the more are received and the long-term task of managing messages becomes increasingly time consuming. It’s the modern age equivalent of ‘paper pushing’!

Adopting smarter email habits increases productivity and can also help improve your energy and even work-life balance. Manage email traffic by following these five simple rules:

1.    SEND FEWER EMAILS

Send fewer emails and you’ll receive fewer emails.

2.    UNPLUG

Switch off from work: avoid emails in the evenings and weekends. Also turn off the auto email 'push' on your smartphone.

3.    AVOID DISTRACTIONS

In order to avoid constant interruptions to your focus, turn off audio alerts on your email and phone.

4.    CLEAR EMAILS IN BATCHES

Clear your emails at designated times once or twice a day. Manage your colleagues’ expectations so they are clear about how often you check your emails. You can check your emails through the day so that if an urgent email comes in you can deal with it straight away but all the others can be cleared together.

5.    KEEP ORGANISED

When you go through your email execute one of the following six actions for each email:

·      Delete

·      Respond then delete

·      Forward to someone else then delete

·      Unsubscribe (if you’re on a email list you don’t value) then delete

·      If you don’t need to deal with the email immediately, then file it in a follow-up folder, which you can go through and clear once a week.

·      Avoid copying in individuals to your emails unnecessarily

Try these smart working email strategies to help manage your energy and productivity.

Dr Elisabeth Philipps DPhil


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