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Should workers be limited to three email checks per day?

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HC Online | 16 Dec 2014, 08:18 AM Agree 0
Researchers behind a recent study conducted at the University of British Columbia have said that employers should instruct staff not to check work emails more than three times in a day.
  • J | 16 Dec 2014, 10:35 AM Agree 0
    This may work for some roles, but for me, my tasks are in my emails. I need to refer to them, pass information to appropriate people, answer queries faster than waiting 4 hours and be available when needed.
  • S | 16 Dec 2014, 10:54 AM Agree 0
    I agree with J. I can see it working for some, but, like J, emails are one of the drivers in my daily work performance. I have however implemented a system where my after hours emails are checked once per day, and only to clear any junk and check for anything that needs to be on the top of the priorities when I get into work next.
  • Sam | 16 Dec 2014, 11:32 AM Agree 0
    I think this is a great study. I try to respond to emails as soon as they come in but I find that I can spend a huge part of my day doing this and my actual work doesn't get touched. Limiting it to only 3 - 4 times a day will ensure that my work gets done in addition to the adhoc requests that come via email.
  • Rajan | 16 Dec 2014, 11:33 AM Agree 0
    It is alright to say that "check only 3 times a day". In this digital world, work flow happens mainly via the email. If email flow stops, many organisations stop functioning. We need to find a balance with being addicted to email versus effective working.
  • Kostadin Kushlev | 17 Dec 2014, 08:56 PM Agree 0
    I am the lead researcher on the study covered in this article. I agree with Nally, but I should point out that the findings of the study were not presented accurately in this article. Although we asked our participants to limit their email checking to 3 times a day, they managed to reduce it to about 5 (and some checked it more and others less). So the study actually is quite congruent with the suggestion that there is nothing magical about a specific number (three in this case). The data just suggest that people should try not check their email more frequently than they need to (which most of us do).
  • Graeme | 05 Jan 2015, 02:57 PM Agree 0
    Why does it have to be a specific number. Why not leave emails until you have completed the current task which may take two hours.

    If you are working on a task that may take days, break it down to smaller components.

    The most important point to get across to the whole organisation is that this is how you will be working so don't expect immediate responses to emails
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