New Research Reveals Banning Email in the Workplace Wrong Approach to Email Overload

Etiquette Identified as Key to Improve Work-Life Balance, Productivity

CHICAGO, June 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- A trend among global companies that eliminates or limits internal email to employees is a misguided strategy, based on research just released by The Grossman Group, a communications consultancy, and LCWA Research Group.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120612/CG21925)

Results of the 2012 Work-Related Email Perception Study, "Enough Already! Stop Bad Email," show that while middle managers typically spend 2.5 weeks (100 hours) a year on irrelevant email, they don't want their ability to use email taken away or interrupted at any time of the day or night. They do, however, want policies that could help reduce the overwhelming volume of irrelevant email. Findings reveal:

  • Executives (84 percent), middle managers (83 percent), and employees (77 percent) overwhelmingly agree email is an effective and necessary communication tool.  
  • Only 8 percent of executives, 15 percent of middle managers, and 11 percent of employees said limiting email during normal business hours would be very effective.
  • Only 11 percent of executives, 20 percent of middle managers and 13 percent of employees said limiting email outside normal business hours would be very effective.
  • Only 3 percent of executives, 12 percent of middle managers, and 7 percent of employees said eliminating email outside normal business hours would be very effective.

"We've seen companies around the world experimenting with email black-outs or time-outs," said David Grossman, communication expert, author, founder and CEO, The Grossman Group. "However, our research reveals that's not the most effective approach. We know employees are overloaded by their inboxes and it's causing them stress, yet our research shows it's email misbehaviors that need to be addressed.

Respondents rated some reasons why they want flexibility to access work-related email after hours including:

  • Making sure nothing is missed (52 percent of middle managers, 51 percent of supervisors and 48 percent of employees)
  • Preparing for the upcoming day (51 percent of middle managers, 45 percent of supervisors and 47 percent of employees)

"The goal of this research was to better understand how a cross-section of Corporate America feels about email in their workplace and how they use it," said Greg Gordon, senior vice president, research and strategy, LCWA Research Group.

While respondents said they don't want access to email interrupted, they do want policies that address the overwhelming volumes of irrelevant emails.

Sixty-one percent of executives and 55 percent of middle managers said that email policies would be very effective in their organization.

The web-based survey included 1,300 respondents comprised of corporate executives within Fortune 1,000 companies, middle managers, supervisors and non-supervising employees. For more information:

"Enough Already! Stop Bad Email": an executive summary of the 2012 Work-Related Email Perception Study findings.  

"Defrost the Frozen Middle": an info graphic discussing the cost of email and its affect on middle managers

"The Definitive Guide to Taming the Email Monster,": free ebook by David Grossman

About David Grossman and The Grossman Group

A leading consultant, speaker and author, David Grossman is one of America's foremost authorities on communication inside organizations and is founder and CEO of The Grossman Group (www.yourthoughtpartner.com), an award-winning Chicago-based communications consultancy focusing on organizational consulting, strategic leadership development and internal communications for Fortune 500 clients. David's often quoted in media and provides expert commentary and analysis on employee and leadership issues. Most recently, he was featured on "NBC Nightly News" and in the Chicago Tribune. For David's full bio, visit   www.yourthoughtpartner.com/about-david.

About LCWA Research Group

The LCWA Research Group is a division of L.C. Williams & Associates, a full-service public relations, research and communications services firm.  LCWA's research capabilities range from employee communication and engagement assessments to marketing and branding studies, consumer surveys and association member satisfaction and development studies. Among LCWA's proprietary research tools is its award-winning Internal Communication Climate Index™, which focuses on five critical dimensions of effective organizational communication: Mutual Purpose, Employee Advocacy, Information Flow, Senior Leadership and Direct Supervisor.

Media Contact:

Kayla Ellsworth The Grossman Group, 312.850.8211, kellsworth@yourthoughtpartner.com

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SOURCE The Grossman Group



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