Should all staff be given access to e-mail at work?
The Big Question is an initiative between Computer Weekly and recruitment consultancy PSD. Each week we put the Big Question to top IT professionals to get their take on a current talking point.
The majority of IT professionals believe that all employees in an organisation should be given access to e-mail, despite the risks of information overload damaging productivity, the strain on enterprise networks and the potential risks to systems security.
In this week's Big Question, 94% of respondents said they thought that e-mail should be deployed company-wide, with many of them arguing that the advantages far outweighed the drawbacks.
IT professionals acknowledged that employees often felt swamped by the volume of e-mails, but said that people could be trained to prioritise and use their time effectively.
A project manager at BAE Systems said e-mail had become "a fundamental part of communicating within business today" and that it "saves money and time".
Software developer Todor Todorov said, "All staff should have e-mail at work. It is a lot cheaper and greener than sending paper notes around and it is an invaluable tool for spreading internal and external communications."
Other respondents argued that there should be restrictions on e-mail access based on an employee's job function.
IT manager Adrian Rayne said, "Depending on the nature of the business, e-mail can either expedite transactions or impede staff productivity."
IT analyst Pippa Thompson was among those respondents who said there should be time restrictions on e-mail use.
"Limiting the use of internet access is effective and allows individuals to be more effective in their working day," she said.
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