Did you know…Email is number one on the list of workplace distractions.
Today’s working environment is characterised by a network of connections and communications, meaning there is a never-ending stream of emails going in and going out. Trying to get in contact with someone through the phone has become far more difficult with the decline of the corporate switchboard, use of contact centres and voice mail. Hence email has become an essential tool to reach people. This is both a blessing and a curse.
Emails are becoming overused and people are becoming distracted as a result of it. You come into the office…you check your emails. You come back from lunch…you check your emails. When you are bored…you check your emails. The endless scrolling, darting eyes and notifications can destroy your concentration. We are obsessed with keeping up to date with all the work-related tasks that you end up not being able to focus on what’s at hand.
You may ask…If we stop checking our emails, how do we work?
Set aside time each day to look at your emails and turn off the annoying notification popup and alert sound.
What are some other ways to manage email communication at work?
The most important lesson to learn is that emails do not need to be instantaneously replied to. In most cases, the email content can be left for at least a day before replying, especially the really important business ones. Have a clear mind before you respond and ensure you have a clear goal in your mind which is reflected in the email communication.
Emails is only one of the many methods of getting in contact with someone. There are always other ways to communicate. With the introduction of signatures on emails, you don’t even need to reply to the email! There will be a contact number for you to call or even text! Small tip…emails are just so overused in the office, you can change it up and make it more personal. Give the person a call or organize a time to meet and chat face-to-face. It could generate better rapport and they may think of you differently too as you have taken a bigger step than others who have reached out.
If the person you are contacting is in the office, you have an excuse to get out from your chair and walk to that person and talk to them. You get some exercise, you get away from your desk and you talk to a human being as opposed to a computer. I don’t see any negatives to that, so why should you?
Take Home Message:
Emails are one of the many ways to communicate not the only way to communicate. You don’t need to respond to it immediately, think it through and come back to it. Sometimes face-to-face is the better option. Emails are the number one distraction in the workplace, manage your emails and manage your time so you don’t lose focus.