Workers spend nearly 10 years of their lives checking emails

Employees in the UK waste almost 10 years of their working life checking emails – potentially costing the country’s economy over £90billion every year.

Research from one of the UK’s leading business skills and IT training providers has shown that responding to an email every five minutes wastes a staggering 8.5 hours a week given the ‘recovery’ time required after each interruption – adding up to 9.7 years of their working lives.

With more than half of all jobs in the UK being office based, many of which use email, the experts at Indicia Training are urging both employers and employees to become more focussed and productive at work in order to beat the downturn.

Howard Teale, Indicia’s general manager, said: “The compulsive need to check emails continuously is driven by the same impulses that are experienced by gamblers. Stopping to check e-mail 10 times a day requires a lot of brain switching so when it comes to getting sidetracked, e-mail is a major culprit.

“With Britain still struggling to get out of the recession, it is vitally important that employers are able to get the most out of their staff. Workers must learn to use tools like email effectively – rather than being used by them.

“For some people, multitasking has proven to be highly overrated as bouncing between tasks actually lowers effectiveness and productivity. Jumping back and forth between tasks can take four times longer to accomplish them, simply due to the time required for switching gears.”

Teale believes that with the right support employees can increase productivity and help the economy come out of the recession stronger than ever before.

He said: “One idea is to never check e-mails first thing in the morning but to simply get on with your workload. But it doesn’t have to be that extreme, workers can try simply setting aside four set times of the day when they check e-mails. As long as clients are told up front of this policy, everyone knows what to expect, and it can dramatically increase productivity.”

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