February 19, 2021

Should Companies Consider Banning Email?

If you could guess, how many times have you checked your email so far today? With smartphones, tablets, and laptops, email seems like a perfect way of communication throughout the office because it can be accessed from anywhere at any time of the day. This leads to people checking their inboxes religiously. Because of the easy availability of email, many employees and employers resent looking at their inboxes. The use of email adds more additional work, wastes time, which then stresses everyone out. The average employee spends 23% of the workday on emails, which in turn increases their stress level. With that much of the day being wasted, and the stress it causes employees, should companies consider getting rid of email? There are businesses that have started doing this and have seen positive results.

With email, employers or colleagues can just dump another task onto your plate. Almost everyone has done this at some point in time during their career. You send them an email about something you want them to do (even though it may be a small task) without considering everything else that person may have on their plate. Email makes it so easy to pass tasks down to someone else. Even though that person may have twenty other tasks to do for the day, they now have to add another one to their workload. Sometimes the tasks are something that needs to be done right away, which then puts them behind on their original tasks. 

There have probably been times where you have been emailing a coworker that was in the office next to you or across the hall. Even though emailing may seem quicker, it’s really not. The amount of time it takes to read, respond, and wait for another reply could be cut in half if you would just go next door or across the hall. Having a conversation face to face can be much quicker and people can clarify what they are saying much better than through an email. Banning email means that employees can enter a conversation on their own time instead of potentially getting interrupted every couple of minutes.

It’s hard to get away from your email since it can be accessed almost anywhere. This is a big contributor to stress. Employees cannot get away from work when they have their email connected to their phone or tablet, because as soon as they hear the “ding” or see the notification they immediately look at it. As discussed previously, email can lead to more demands for employees, which leads to stress and impacts their ability to work. By banning email, employees may be able to get their work done more efficiently. Employees won’t have the stress of lost time from responding to emails and receiving requests to take on much more work than what they currently have.

Banning email may seem like an intimidating task and you may think your company would not last if email wasn’t used, but you will see positive results. More employees will be communicating with one another face to face, which will help save time. They will also be able to get more of their own work done instead of receiving tasks from others that put them behind. There won’t be as much stress either because they won’t constantly be checking their emails. If you are worried about banning email completely, try doing it every Friday or even for part of the day. This will lead to more productivity throughout the company.

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