Productivity of companies in the IT and telecoms sector is being seriously impaired by e-mail overload, research has found.
A survey, commissioned by Xerox Global Services, has showed that managers from the IT and telecoms industry are more reliant on e-mail to conduct business than their peers in any other sector. This is putting a strain on worker productivity, server storage capabilities and ultimately the organisation’s competitiveness.
The survey, which questioned more than 500 managers from a range of industries, found that IT and telecoms managers topped the average for e-mails in their inboxes by nearly two-thirds with an average 900 e-mails on their PC, receiving 90 more every day compared to an average of 49 across all industries.
“The findings indicate a reluctance among IT and telecoms managers to pick up the telephone, even in instances where it would be more appropriate,” said Amanda Abernethy, UK general manager at Xerox Global Services.
Xerox Global Services has devised a best practice guide for e-mail management:
- Be clear with e-mails, use the spell check, and always re-read before sending to make sure the meaning is unambiguous
- If you are going to send large attachments (anything over 100Kbytes) ask the recipients first. And use a virus checker before sending
- If possible, send a link to a file stored on a website or shared folder, rather than as an attachment
- If you must send an attachment then compress it (ie use a Zip folder)
- Make sure that you fill in the subject field with something meaningful when sending an e-mail. It will help others find the message in the future
- If you are sending a message to lots of people, it is useful to use the “bcc” field, rather than publicise others’ e-mail addresses without permission
- Use a logical folder structure for saving e-mails. If you remove an attachment, remember that you could lose hidden data that would be useful if you needed to use the document again
- Try not to reply in haste to any e-mails. If you receive an e-mail that angers you, remember to take your time and understand the real meaning of the e-mail, then calmly compose a response
- Meanings and nuances in e-mails can be lost in translation, so try not to be ironic or funny unless the recipient knows you very well
- Remember that other forms of communication work just as well. Try phoning your colleagues or business associates, or take the trouble to walk across the office and talk to them, rather than using e-mail all the time.
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