In many offices today, email messaging is a handy way to communicate efficiently with coworkers. But is the work inbox a digital blessing, or does our reliance on email turn those inboxes against us?
New research from a group of UC Irvine and Army researchers suggests our attachment to those inboxes may actually make us more stressed and less productive. Their study asked 13 employees — including psychologists, biologists, and other professionals — to cut off all email access for five days. Perhaps surprisingly, no one died, hired Mark Zuckerberg to hack into an email account, or even lost a job. In fact, employees multi-tasked less and focused more at work,Science Daily reported. (The researchers tracked how often participants switched windows.) Their stress levels, as measured by their heart rates, went down. And they reported enjoying water-cooler chat more than usual.
In the past few years, other studies have found email can actually hinder productivity, since checking email can interrupt whatever task someone’s concentrating on at the moment. Some researchers and business professionals suggest hitting the inbox just four times daily. But whether it’s the four-times-a-day rule or another strategy, there are lots of practical ways to deal with email overload.
Virtual Insanity — Your Action Plan…….