Email Overload has an article titled “Intel’s E-Mail Overload Solution” that describes the steps Intel is taking to combat email overload.

What I found interesting was the amount of time Intel’s employees were ‘wasting’ every week on due to email….a number that is probably pretty accurate for most organizations. The article states:

What they found: “Knowledge workers spend about 20 hours a week doing e-mail, and one-third of that e-mail is useless,” explains Zeldes. Worse, 70 percent of e-mail gets handled within six minutes of arrival and the average worker is interrupted every three minutes, according to research. “When you switch between tasks, you incur a cognitive reorientation cost,” says David Sward, a senior human factors engineer at Intel and one of Zeldes’s partners on the infomania project. The bottom line was that Intel’s workers were wasting about six hours a week.

Six wasted hours while working on email….1.2 hours per day wasted on inefficiencies. My guy tells me it is actually more than that, but at least a company is thinking about this issue and six hours is nothing to be sneezed at.

Intel’s plans to combat this waste of time seem interested. Some examples are:

  1. Enabling workers to shut down e-mail and IM notification for specified durations
  2. E-mail “quiet time” methodologies such as batching e-mail on the server and delivering it once an hour
  3. “no e-mail” Fridays (or another specified day)
  4. moving enterprise wide status reports and organizational announcements from push e-mail to an RSS subscription

I like first two options and think the last option is brilliant but I’m not too keen on option #2. Interesting ideas….I’d love to see how these work out.

[tags] Email, Information Technology, inefficiencies from email [/tags]