1 in 3 Britons (33 per cent) admit that receiving personal emails during work hours provides a valued relief from work-related stress, according to research by GMX, the free email service for more than 11 million active users. The survey of 1679 UK adults suggests that many British workers have incorporated personal emailing into their working day as a coping strategy against stress. 35 per cent of those surveyed handled urgent personal emails at work in order to maintain a work-life balance. Furthermore, over half of workers (54 per cent) now feel that keeping up-to-date with a personal Inbox is a bigger task than their work Inbox. A common source of angst for freemail users also comes from forgetting passwords, having affected two thirds of users. Overall, the study suggests that handling personal emails at work can be a useful and therapeutic pursuit in the average worker’s day.
A recent study by GMX found that the average Briton uses 2 separate personal email accounts, and checks them on average 2-3 times a day. GMX’s ‘Email in My Day’ study(1) now finds that many workers feel strongly about having access to such emails during work hours. Two thirds of workers (69 per cent) with personal email accounts have accessed these at work. 1 in 3 workers use email from friends, family and partners to distract themselves from stressful tasks or encounters with colleagues.
For 35 per cent, private emails are the most valued source of humour in their working day. It would appear that women are more reliant on their personal email than their male colleagues. 1 in 3 women (32 per cent) evaluate their use of private emails as a coping strategy that helps them ‘get through the day’, compared to 1 in 4 men (24 per cent) who feel the same. Furthermore, many workers (for example, 1 in 5 aged under 35), email spouses or partners on a daily basis to bolster self-esteem or confidence at work.
Eva Heil, Managing Director, GMX, said, “Many employers dislike staff accessing private email at work as this is often viewed as merely time wasted. However, the study suggests such email is a valued way for workers to relieve the negative effects of work such as stress or nerves. Email is also now relied upon for managing a work-life balance. As Britons increasingly utilise email to organise their home-lives, issuing guidelines to employees on the responsible use of personal accounts at work could well reward an employer in the long run”.
The research suggests that keeping up to speed with personal email remains a challenge for many people. More than half questioned (54 per cent) state that they feel less satisfied with their ability to keep their personal Inbox updated than with their work Inbox. On average, only 1 in 4 users (24 per cent) were happy to receive a greater quantity of personal emails than they already do. Whilst 46 per cent of 16-24 year olds felt they could handle more, this fell sharply with age, with only 21 per cent of over 45 year olds feeling the same.
GMX’s study shows a major source of stress when using free email clients is forgetting the password. Two thirds (67 per cent) of us have been locked-out of their account after forgetting our password. 53 per cent of users have experienced negative emotions as a result. The 25-34 age group, which most uses personal email to organise their private lives, is most effected by the problem with 74 per cent having suffered. With a clever tool such as GMX Mail Collector that collects email from multiple email accounts (such as Yahoo, GoogleMail etc.), the need to log-in separately to other Inboxes is easily eradicated.
Heil added, “Managing personal email can be challenging nowadays. It’s important for users to seek out a service with the latest email management features that can help. Upgrading to a newer email client will often prove a real time- and stress- saver in everyday use”.
By using modern techniques, one can easily reduce stress and ensure that personal email remains a pleasure. Below, GMX offers its ‘Top 5 Tips’
for using personal email at work:
- Be sure you are permitted to check private emails during work hours
- Choose a service that can handle all your email accounts in one place and so save you time
- Webmail with a desktop appearance can help and make you feel more in control
- Choose a service with multi-layer SPAM and virus protection – preventing you from opening viruses on your work PC
- Manage all your emails by archiving them into folders
With over 11 million active users, GMX draws on over a decade of free email expertise and is well placed to offer a reliable, secure service.