NEW YORK ( MainStreet) — It may seem odd today, but email was supposed to be the tool that set us all free. That’s hard to imagine in an era when inboxes dominate our at-work lives and smartphones neatly obliterate the distinction between home and office, but once upon a time, the promise of immediate, asynchronous communication was huge.
As I sit here, with an inbox that recently broke 10,000 messages, those days seem very long ago.
Some companies believe it’s time they put their genie back in its bottle. An increasing number have begun to look at all the time they spend managing e-mail and ask… is this still worth it?
The evidence against keeps piling up, and it’s hard to ignore. Email overload has become one of the biggest time wasters in the modern office, sucking up hours just in sorting through the form of communication before even getting to the content. What was supposed to save us from endless meetings short on signal and full of noise has become itself a roar of static.
This even in an age where we increasingly have control over spam. Promises to “Satisfay h3r 2niTe!” aren’t the problem; it’s the estimated 108.7 billion e-mails sent and received by business users every day. Those require at least a moment to review.
And the disruptions add up. According to a study conducted by global consulting firm McKinsey, workers dedicate 28% of their week to e-mail. Penn State Hershey Medical Group pediatrician Dr. Ian Paul even published an experiment where he kept track of his messages over the course of one academic year. The result was over 2,000 mass distributions from his medical center alone.