I was interested in recent research carried out by the University of Glasgow’s Computing Science department. It concluded that email represents the single most stressful business application causing employees to become “tired, frustrated and unproductive”.

The survey found that 34% of workers feel stressed by the volume of emails they receive daily, with a further 28% of respondents regarding email as a major source of pressure.

The research also found that workers typically switch applications as often as 40 times an hour in order to view their email, suggesting the application fosters unhealthy compulsive behaviour. “This indicates the astonishing extent to which email is embedded in our day-to-day lives,” the report comments.

According to Dr Karen Renaud of University of Glasgow’s Computing Science department who headed up the research, the act of repeatedly breaking away from tasks requiring concentration in order to momentarily check email is mentally draining and reduces productivity levels.

My strong suggestion is not to be driven by your inbox, rather be driven by your plan for the day. Place email where it belongs, as your servant, not your master. One way to make this a reality is to use our training programmes, to drive your workload management decisions and processes. If you do nothing else …..

Don’t use your inbox as your default view in your Outlook or Notes programme

Of course, you can always contact us directly to tailor a support programme to your needs.