Email Habits that Contribute the Most to Email Time Suck

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Sorting and Scrolling

Behavior #4: Sorting and scrolling, instead of filtering and eliminating

Whenever we want to browse through our inbox or folders to check about emails or conversations, the most common behavior we exhibit is sorting and scrolling. There is nothing wrong with sorting as long as we know the email(s) we are looking for are very recent (because sorting always involves ordering emails in chronological sequence). But if the email or conversation is not so recent, we begin to scroll through messages, and this is the next big time suck.

Tip #4: Instead of sorting and scrolling, try filtering and then narrowing down to a set of emails by using other information you remember about the email.

Email is the most pervasive and critical part of every employee's work day. According to a McKinsey Global study, employees spend a whopping 28 percent of their work week on email-related tasks, which is over two hours a day. To put this in perspective, if your company has 1,000 employees, we are talking about email consuming at least 2,000 hours every work day, 10,000 hours every work week and over 500,000 hours every year. Assuming that your average annual cost per employee is $50,000, the time spent with email is costing your company $60 million every year! Whew!

And there's a double whammy. The amount of time that email sucks is going to get worse, according to the Email Market (2014-2018) study by Radicati. This study finds that business email volume is going to increase by over 28 percent, from around 109 billion emails a day in 2014 to over 139 billion emails a day in 2018.

It is critical for your business to carefully study employees' habits that increase the amount of time they spend with email — even seemingly innocuous ones — and take immediate corrective action. To illustrate, let's assume that you are able to help employees save just 10 minutes out of the 120 they spend with email every day. Your company will save 41,700 productive hours and $5 million every year!

But where do you start? In this slideshow, email productivity experts FewClix for Outlook reveal which employee email habits contribute the most to "email time suck" and suggest actions you can take to ensure you are protecting your company from hundreds, maybe thousands, of hours wasted every day with email.


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