By Claire West
This is confirmed in a survey released today, by leading email management consultancy, Mesmo, which shows that three quarters of all employees are spending around half of their day dealing with email — and of these a quarter are spending more than four hours a day. However, the survey also shows that virtually no UK companies train their employees in how to use email effectively. 92% of the 130 PA’s questioned said that neither they nor their managers had been offered any form of email training.
Email guru and Mesmo, Managing Partner, Dr Monica Seeley points outs the cost of this shortsighted approach; “When you combine the survey findings with government and independent surveys which show that each of us wastes at least 45 minutes a day dealing with unwanted email —we are losing around 20 days a year of productive working time. This is an outrageous waste of a company’s investment in people and needlessly adds to workplace stress. Training quickly gives back this time and more.”
The Mesmo survey conducted towards the beginning of this year highlights the growing time people are spending on their email, the lack of security and the poor use of email as a communications tool.
Seeley continues; “People and organisations without training use email inefficiently. Organisations tend to produce a constant stream of communication and often make inappropriate use of the medium. One example from our survey is that 81.3% of people think others do not use the ‘cc’ function correctly. My work confirms this as we see far too many people ‘cc’ing to cover their backs and sending email out indiscriminately. They are not thinking who actually needs this information before they press send.”
Another finding was that most people think emails are too long with 62% stating that the optimum size for an email should be no more than 4-5 sentences. Seeley says people need help and guidance with softer issues such as style, clarity, brevity as well as content of emails i.e. what is and is not appropriate to put in writing in an email. ”Many users do not understand how insecure an email is and that inappropriate comment in an email can be regarded as defamatory.”
Another concern revealed by the Mesmo survey is that nearly half (43.4%) of respondents said their companies had no EDRM (Electronic Documents and Records Management) Policy. An additional 30% did not know if their company had a policy at all. An EDRM policy defines what emails and documents are kept, by whom and until when. Lack of such policies can lead to serious breaches of confidentiality and security of company data.