In our last article, we saw how the email monster eats into your organization’s bottom line. In this article, we shall see what it does to the top line.
Remember Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times”? It served as a great commentary on how mechanical life brings boredom to the workforce. What kind of initiative, creativity does one expect from such a workforce?
The large amount of email stresses you out and the productivity drops. Here is how.
When you open your mailbox, tonnes of emails from various contexts start pouring into it. Shown below is a representation.
While you sift through these emails, while you may be sitting in one place, your brain is jumping from one context to another. Whether we like it or not, we have some emotional response to each one — it could be happy, or it could be sad. The time that you take to advance from one to the other is very little, and this emotional juggling can be quite tiring.
Not only that, your brain needs to keep all the contexts active in the mind at the same time, as mail #27 may relate to mail #2 (For instance, it may say that the meeting is now postponed by 30 minutes).
Context-switching is known to be anti-productive. Here it happens so fast that it leaves you mentally exhausted. The tired brain is not productive anymore.
In the last article we covered how the email occupies you for a long time. Here we suggest that it exhausts you mentally so much that your productivity drops, so it has bearing over the leftover time as well. People leaving work with a good deal of stress and a feeling of not having accomplished much is a direct result of these two factors combined. This happens day in and day out.
What kind of impact do you expect your organization’s top line to have with a bored, tired, fatigued work force whose creative energy is beaten out of them? Where will new ideas, new initiatives germinate? Will your sales rep sound cheerful? Will the creativity of your staff not drop significantly?
We have become so mechanized to process emails at a fast pace that even if one of them represents the best opportunity we may not even recognize it. Are the employees turning into email processing robots?
This is a series of 3 articles. In the next article (the last article in this series), we shall see how we try to fight these problems, what works and what doesn’t.