Employees squander a month each year checking email outside of work

24637-email-iconA study published today by enterprise service management firm Samanage, confirms that US employees are spending a significant amount of time checking email after hours. What is perhaps more surprising is the amount of time they spend on this. The report claims that a significant proportion of workers are spending far more time emailing outside the office than they do taking vacation. Among the 1,500 US adults surveyed in the Email Overload Survey, more than one in three (35.2 percent) check email at least one hour a day outside of work hours, totaling more than 30 days of extra work per year. Given the average US worker receives 10 days of vacation annually, employees are spending triple that amount of time emailing after work hours. It’s also clear that Americans have a hard time putting down their mobile device and stepping away from email as respondents reported checking their work email instead of sleeping or eating.

One in five respondents (19.2 percent) noted that they wake up to check work email “very often,” while 23 percent check email “very often” during dinner. Millennials are the biggest offenders in both categories. When it comes to losing sleep over email, nearly 40 percent (39.4 percent) of Millennials said they have woken up to check work email.

 Additional findings:

  • Nearly one in five employees (18.9 percent) receive more than 100 emails on a daily basis.
  • The top two reasons U.S. adults check work email after hours are to “stay organized” and “feel connected to work.”
  • Twenty percent of respondents expressed negative feelings toward opening their inbox outside the office, admitting to feeling “overwhelmed” and “frustrated.”
  • More than one in three (39.1 percent) of employees do not have control settings in place to manage after-hours email. However, nearly half of young Millennials age 18-24 (47.3 percent) use advanced email settings to control, automate or organize their email compared to 32.2 percent to Baby Boomers age 65+.
  • The top ways people would prefer to organize email to control after hours email interruptions include:
    • Having senders only flag emails that need a response (40.4 percent)
    • Holding all emails outside of work hours (13.7 percent)
    • Setting automatic replies for certain senders (10 percent)

 “Work email is disrupting the personal lives of U.S. employees, causing workers unwanted stress and anxiety,” said Cord Silverstein, vice president of Marketing at Samanage. “Organizations should take this as a wakeup call that they need to be smarter about assisting employees in the management of corporate communications to avoid overload and prevent employee turnover.”

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