Managers use 8 hours a day on emails - here’s how you can get more efficient

By Tom Banks

If you feel like you are swimming against never-ending tide of emails, barely keeping your head above water, you’re not alone. A study by management consulting firm, Bain & Company, examining e-communications and other forms of collaboration, found that executives can now receive upwards of 200 emails a day. An alien visitor new to Earth might be forgiven for thinking the primary task for many professionals is to send and answer emails, though of course, that’s the reality, or at least it’s not supposed to be.

According to the Bain & Company study, a frontline supervisor will spend, on average,  around eight hours each week processing emails: sending, reading, and answering them. That’s an entire working day each week spent solely on emails!

Many have started to wonder if things have gone too far in terms of how much electronic communication we have to process at as result of work, and the detrimental impact it can have on productivity. Earlier this year, the France even implemented a new law, restricting times for when employees in companies with more than 50 employees must respond to emails outside of standard office hours.

We all know from personal experience that too much email sucks, both having to read it and then carefully constructing your reply. But we still need to have strong communication at work. So, how can you be more efficient in a time when the very need to communicate as much as possible clashes so directly with our need both as individuals and teams, to be more productive than ever.

If you could find a way to cut down on emails for everyone, you’d have to consider it right?

You can come up with strategies for structuring and managing your inbox and schedule set times of your day to answer emails. But that won’t actually solve the basic problem of the sheer volume of emails you’re getting. Finding a solution to decrease the number of emails you and your team get should be as much a priority as coming up with better time-management of your inbox. But how do you do that you may ask?

Increase Productivity Without Harming Team Communication

Videoconferencing is a tool that will help you maintain with strong day-to-day communications with  team members, remote teams, clients or other anyone else you work with on a regular basis.

With a videoconferencing solution that lets you use it on whichever device you want, wherever you want, it is really easy to just hit someone up for a quick chat, recap, status or explanation meeting.

You can get your answers in an instant, eliminating the need for time-consuming planning and emailing.

Imagine the email thread from hell. Heaps of emails going back and forth, and the lack of control and overview. Imagine if all the questions that has to be answered in the inbox could be answered with a simple video call. There is no question that will make for an easier work life with a lot of saved time and frustration.

Videoconferencing also makes it easier to work remotely. With a high quality solution you will feel like the other(s) attending the meeting is right there by your side, and easily communicate whatever’s on the agenda. You can also eliminate the occasional hassle of traveling and traffic, and attend the meeting in the comfort of your own home. With this comes the possibility of having your meetings wherever and whenever. If that’s not efficient, what is?

Read more: How to use video for a better work-life balance

Face-to-face communication

Written matters often tend to be misunderstood or not interpreted the expected or wanted way. Video conferencing will let you communicate verbally AND back it up with both face and body language. Which will naturally make the process of communicating your message more easy and efficient.

Research has shown
that most human communication is nonverbal. Body language cues, such as facial expressions, body posture, gestures or eye movement, are an important part of conversations and can remove misunderstandings that easily happens when communication is only done by text or phone.

In the misunderstandings occurring from written communication, lies the possibility of impairing the trust you have built with your client, team members and others. It can simply put make you look less professional and reliable. So, face-to-face communication will often lay the grounds for a better relationship with whom you are communicating with.

Employee burnout

There is little doubt that unnecessary e-communications is costly, not just to the individual employee but also to the company. It contributes to employee burnout and lost productivity. By reducing the impact of obvious factors related to stress, like e-communications, this can easily get under control.

Productivity in the workplace and the possibility for it makes for a better work life for most employees in a company. To not be held back by the lack of equipment or possibilities to go about ways to work as you choose to, can be a hindering factor for many. A better work-life balance and the possibility of a flexible schedule is often of high value for employees.

The psychological and physical problems of burned-out employees, which cost an estimated $125 billion to $190 billion a year in healthcare spending in the U.S., are just the most obvious impacts of too much to do. With this being said, why not do something about this trend when you have the issue right in front of you.

Save that time and money by incorporating video as a way of communication. Take responsibility for yourself and even the ones around you and get control of your work life and workplace. Make it efficient and take back the unnecessary time spent on answering emails. Use your precious time where it should be spent, and deliver those great results.

Increasing productivity and profit through videoconferencing

by Tom Banks

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