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Macro Systems Blog

Are You on Constant Inbox-Watch?

b2ap3_thumbnail_email_spew_400.jpgAre your eyes constantly glued on your email inbox during the workday? It’s not bad to keep up with what’s going on in the office, but a recent study has linked constant email-checking to higher stress levels. This probably isn’t surprising to some, but some folks, like the researchers at the University of British Columbia, claim that there’s a maximum number of times to check your email throughout the day to minimize stress in the workplace.

The magic number? Three times. The test, which involved 124 adult workers, was performed over a seven-day period. These workers were only allowed to check their email three times a day during the course of the study. The following week, the participants were encouraged to check their email whenever they got a moment; a practice which is all too common in today’s workplace. At the end of each day, the workers were asked to fill out a short questionnaire concerning their current stress levels.

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On average, the workers normally checked their email 15 times throughout the day. It’s been reported that the main reason for this stress was from the constant switching back and forth from tasks, to responding to emails, and personal matters. Naturally, this can drive the everyday worker nuts, and their performance and focus can suffer because of it. The study also showed a certain reluctance to focus less on their email inbox during the day, which isn’t surprising either: According to Mashable, 92 percent of workers in the United States use email to communicate in the office, and 183 billion emails are sent out each and every day. The research targeted the need to stay connected as the root of the issue here.

The conclusion of the study found that three periods of responding to email throughout the day should be sufficient to minimize the level of inbox stress. Take a block of time to respond to all emails which require your attention. You might be surprised at the decrease in stress. Of course, not all business owners have this luxury. When you’re not dealing with one issue, you’re dealing with another. If you’re having trouble tearing your eyes away from the inbox, here are some tips to help you realize that the inbox isn’t as important as you think it might be:

  • If it’s especially important, you’ll receive a phone call or instant message about the issue at hand. If you have something urgent which needs to get done, try making a phone call yourself, and save the time you might have wasted drafting the perfect email message.
  • You can’t afford to continuously respond to emails all day long. Continuously halting more important tasks isn’t ideal for productivity, concentration, or quality of work.
  • If it’s not marked as important, it’s probably not important.

Macro Systems can help your business take the stress out of your email by limiting how many messages you need to go through every day. Your employees might receive a constant string of spam throughout the course of the workday, which can be annoying and monotonous to go through. An enterprise-level spam blocking solution can keep these useless messages out of your inbox and out of mind, meaning that you don’t have to waste time thinking about them; all while minimizing your stress level.

If you’re ready to remove the stress from your email-checking ways, give Macro Systems a call at (703) 359-9211.

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