Don’t open that email! – The London Economic

Don’t open that email!

£203 billion “email drain” affecting UK productivity

The process of reading and responding to emails is costing UK business as much as £203.4 billion* and could be one of the root causes behind the UK’s productivity problems, according to Oasys Mail Manager.

The email management firm’s research suggests that the average annual cost of the time spent laboriously monitoring and using emails could be as much as £6,554.90 per employee.

A worker spends an average of 492 hours per year using email and sends or receives an average of 114** emails in a single day.

Alec Milton, Managing Director of Oasys Mail Manager, said: “Email has become a drain on our economy and a key contributor to poor productivity. It is meant to be a critical business tool but few people use it efficiently now and the massive volume of emails flooding inboxes means filing and searching for information has become harder and more time consuming.

“The UK economy is steadily growing but suspicions remain about our ability to sustain growth without a stronger output per employee. A steady improvement in our use of email would generate significant capacity in our economy and allow more time to focus on tasks – on production and growth.”

According to Oasys Mail Manager, the increasing inefficiencies in the way people use email means that this time is costing the UK economy more and more as the value and usefulness of those emails reduces.

It points to the duplication of email through superfluous copying and the lack of effective email filing and search facilities as contributing factors to the ineffectiveness of time used on email.

Alec Milton added: “Barely an hour passes without most of us wondering why we were copied on a certain email. The amount of email duplication in our business communications is huge and it is taking its toll on productivity.

“The sheer volume of emails we receive means filing and storing them effectively is also much harder. Employers have to address this, either with practical advice or by investing in software to aid email management.”




* 11.2 hours spent reading or answering emails per week (MashableUK) multiplied by 44 working weeks in a year = 492.8 hours per year spent reading/answering emails; Median weekly earnings are £498.80 (ONS 2010 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings) means median hourly earnings are £13.30 (37.5 hours/week), multiplied by 492.8 hours in a year = £6,554.90 as the total cost of an employee’s time spent reading/answering emails; assuming an average of one email account per working employee (some have more, some have none), with 31.3m people in work (ONS latest figures), the total cost to UK business is £6,554.90 x 31.3m = £203,398,455,979.
** Radacati Email Statistics Report, 2013-2017 – worldwide business emails sent/received per day divided by total worldwide business email accounts

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