Not many of us enjoy going back to work after being away on holiday. But it appears that first day in the office is more fraught than it's ever been - courtesy of over-stuffed inboxes. According to a new survey, our memories of sun-kissed beaches are being rapidly quashed by the sheer volume of mail we're confronted with on their return. Apparently, workers have reported feeling ‘overwhelmed’, ‘stressed’ and ‘depressed’, with one poor soul even suggesting that he/ she felt suicidal. We'd love to know what kind of email provoked that...
The survey, by not-at-all biased email ‘training experts’ Emailogic, found that office workers are getting an average of 71 emails a day during their absence, while some people receive as many as 200. Granted, that adds up to about 2,000 after a two-week trip, which is a lot. But we still can’t see how it would be suicide-inducing. It can't have been much of a holiday if you're that stressed on your first morning back.
Now this survey may not be the most scientific piece of research ever conducted, but it's right about one thing: email does take up a huge amount of time (particularly those inevitable office-wide round-robins that start off with ‘anyone fancy a pint tonight?’ and end with all 57 participants participating in a prolonged debate over the finer points of local watering holes), which undoubtedly affects productivity. According to the research, managers receive so many irrelevant emails, dealing with them takes up three and a half whole years of their lives. Egad.
On the other hand, there are coping strategies, as Emailogic point out: for instance, setting your email client to send and receive once an hour instead of constantly. Or, for that matter, turning it off altogether. But if the thought of a bulging inbox still brings on feelings of ending it all, it may be time to seek some professional help of your own. Or save yourself thousands in therapy fees by highlighting everything new and pressing ‘delete’. If it's important, they'll probably email you back.
In today's bulletin:
Investment banking sends Barclays profits soaring to £3.9bn
Warner Brothers wants to build a big Shed in the UK
Deluded managers misjudge their strengths
Google Waves farewell to collaboration app
UK's holiday memories spoiled by bulging inboxes