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5 Ways E-Mails Are Killing Your Productivity

Although you may think of an e-mail as a tool to enhance your business efficiency, emails are killing your productivity. E-mail allows you to quickly communicate with many different people wherever you are, however, more and more research is showing that it hinders productivity. The interruptions that e-mails cause whilst you are working affects your concentration and ability to efficiently carry out tasks. Particularly because the immediacy of e-mail means that you are expected to make a speedy reply. In this article we outline 5 ways e-mails is killing your productivity, and suggest a solution.

1. Filtering through e-mails 

More than 300 business e-mails are received a week and only 14% received are likely to be of importance. Research also  shows that more than half (55%) of employees were frustrated by not being able to find specific documents in their inbox. This left them feeling as if they were wasting time (63%), being less productive (48%), and losing track of project information (52%). The average worker also receives a large amount of marketing e-mails, newsletters and e-mail notifications to their business e-mails, flooding inboxes daily. 

This influx of e-mails means 82% of workers check their e-mail outside of normal business hours and filtering through all these e-mails is hugely time consuming. It also shows us people are constantly checking their e-mails as a sign of procrastination, as they feel the need to look at their e-mails to get away from the work that they were supposed to be doing. Similar to how we tell ourselves in day to day life “just 1 more T.V show, then the bins”, to get away from the tasks that are more tiring or time consuming. In addition, it makes it difficult to find your most important content and key information due to the sheer volume of e-mails… 

2. The constant need to check your e-mail

The average office worker checks their e-mail 36 times an hour. Whilst it is necessary to keep up to date, this constant need to check your e-mail is killing productivity. A recent survey taken in 2019 explains how engagement levels are 0.58% on social media whereas they are 22.86% on e-mails. E-mail is just one part of most employees’ role, yet it occupies 23% of the average employee’s workday. If you turn off your e-mail for a day and focus on other tasks then work productivity and efficiency would improve. However, for most people this is not a realistic request as they need to be contactable. 

3. Refocusing after having an e-mail interruption

When you are focusing on another task and an e-mail comes in, regardless of its relevance it still interrupts your flow of work and train of thought. After this interruption it takes the average person 16 minutes to refocus on the task they were trying to complete beforehand. But, what happens when you receive over 300 e-mails a week? Well, this constant interruption can really harm your productivity and ability to be able to efficiently carry out a task.

4. Large file send limits

How much time do you waste trying to send large files? Do you attempt to reduce the file size by splitting attachments into numerous e-mails, or finding an alternative way to send it? Data is growing at a speed we all struggle to keep up with, and the amount of data we now share with others is too. Not having a suitable way of sharing these files is not sustainable and splitting attachments is not an alternative that will ever work long term. Files go missing or you waste time preparing them to send and likewise for the recipient that needs to then collate the attachments from their end. Not to mention the concerns with the security of e-mail or the inevitable human errors causing data breaches… 

5. Phishing scams and attacks

In 2020, $12 billion in losses were caused by business e-mail scams, and 90% of data breaches were from phishing. Phishing attacks harm productivity because of the time needed to deal with the resulting security incidents. Finding a secure alternative, especially for Legal and Accountancy firms is a must. So, what’s the solution? Well, the simple answer is – technology. We recommend using technology that allows you to create secure portals with only the important information, including upcoming deadlines and the ability to  share files and make comments all in one place. A place you can securely share large files and exchange information, eliminates the need to send multiple e-mails and interrupt your work. This would mean no longer having to filter through e-mails to find relevant information or contact details, or to check your e-mail in case something important comes in, but instead you can get clients and employees to self-serve and enhance productivity for everyone.

Contact one of our team members today to see how we can help you enhance your productivity!