Workers now spend around half of their working hours on email

emailIf you feel like you are checking your email more than ever before, the chances are that you are. Email continues to be the number one communication channel for people around the world, and that includes Millennials, although their use of text and instant messaging is changing the way email is used. According to the new study of 4,000 people in the US, UK, France and Germany from Adobe, the amount of time we spend checking messages increased by an average of 17 percent last year. British workers in the UK spend on average 90 days a year reading email, compared to 62 days for the Germans, 99 days for the French and 88 hours for Americans. This means that the average British worker spends slightly over 4 hours each day checking their messages, including in the bathroom, in front of the television and even while with other people.

Other key findings of the study include:

  • Email in the workplace is becoming less formal. Seventy percent of respondents say texting has impacted work emails with 37 percent saying emails are more concise and another 20 percent adding that it is now less formal. 42 percent have used an emoji in a work realted message.
  • Nearly 70 percent check their smartphones while watching TV and 45 percent while in the bathroom
  • Less than 10 percent would be annoyed by someone checking or responding to a message during a face-to-face conversation with a friend or family member
  • Almost half of respondents want a response within less than an hour at work. About a fourth of older Millennials aged 25 to 34 want a response within minutes
  • People send 19 work emails on the weekend and read 29 on average
  • Seventy-nine percent check work related messages while on holiday
  • Forty-five percent of respondents have attempted a detox

“This survey underpins that email is here to stay in our personal lives and in the workplace. The next generation of workers expect fast responses, mirroring interactions in their personal lives and their shorter attention span,” said Kristin Naragon, director of Email Solutions, Adobe Campaign. “Marketers must adapt their approach to address behaviours and avoid adding to the noise of the inbox. This means fewer emails and ensuring those sent are mobile-optimised, personalised and contextual to offer the best possible digital experience.”

People are so addicted that they’re detoxing: 45 percent reported attempting a self-imposed detox, a break from checking email. People that work in technology are most likely to report taking a detox (66 percent versus 39 percent) and 82 percent reported sticking with their planned detox, which lasted an average of 5.3 days. The majority saw a positive impact from their email detox, with 37 percent reporting they felt liberated and 34 percent feeling relaxed.

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