Email Productivity

Written by Gregg Ruais
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There's little doubt that email has made the workplace more productive, but have we attained peak communication efficiency? All research conducted by email management consultants indicates that we have not. Consider the fact that at some of the most respected companies in the world, more than half of all emails sent and received through corporate servers have nothing to do with business. Moreover, a large percentage of those personal emails contain image and movie attachments.

Browsing through everyone's Microsoft Outlook folders would clearly be counterproductive. It's efficiency that businesses are after, not actively trying to burn people. The cost of reading all office emails would most likely outweigh the productivity gained from it. Besides, this type of auditing would create serious contempt for management. Nobody wants their bosses peering into everything they do.

Improved Email Productivity through Communication and Measuring

How does a company's leadership assess the emails their employees send without instigating employee outrage? Most importantly, there needs to be communication. Employees deserve to know if there's a possibility that HR or management will read one or more of their emails. Secondly, employees need to be measured. Without measuring both team and individual email compliance, business leaders cannot possibly improve their communications efficiency.

There are software programs that detect high-threat activity. These programs create detailed reports that present management with accurate numbers on how often people send personal emails as opposed to professional emails, what types of file attachments they send, and whether or not messages contain inappropriate content. Managers do not have to read all emails. Instead, they should read only the messages that software-generated reports detect as suspicious. Employee email productivity improves considerably when workers know they are being measured. The people who break email policies can be warned, and if that doesn't work, management can take further action.

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