Why emails cause conflict

And what you can do about it.

by Stephen Jones

If email didn’t have any upsides, there wouldn’t be 300 billion of the things sent every day. Indeed our ability to operate at home during the lockdown would be difficult without Zoom, as many have pointed out, but it would be next to impossible without email. 

There’s no escaping the downsides, however. An overactive inbox can be an astonishing drain on productivity, if you fall victim to the illusion that clearing emails counts as real work. And, particularly in the remote working age, email can be the source of much unnecessary conflict within teams. 

In a 2015 study by Education First, 70 per cent of multinational directors reported conflict among remote teams, which 49 per cent of them confusion over email communications to be a major source.

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