Research company IDC says that 39.7 billion person to person emails buzz around the world each day. Hardly surprising given that I have worked in organisations where people used email to arrange meeting for lunch with someone two desks away. That’s why I like what’s happening at INTEL a lot. Three weeks ago 150 of their engineers participated in the first of what will be ongoing “Zero email Fridays”. They haven’t banned email entirely. It’s a month long trial that’s designed to encourage people to phone each other or meet up face to face. The idea behind this is, of course, that it will encourage more direct, free-flowing communication and and a better exchange of ideas. Getting up and walking across the corridor to talk to someone is a simple activity that contributes to building personal networks.
And if you feel that you have 39.7 billion emails or thereabouts sitting your inbox calling your name, you might be interested in the concept of email bankruptcy espoused by Lawrence Lessing on WIRED, where you can simply refuse to work through that truly frightening number of emails you are hoarding…most of which are awaiting action or a reply. Just hit the Delete button and start again with a clean slate. What’s your take on it? Would there be significant consequences if you declared email bankruptcy today? Have we become too email dependent? Anyone like to join me in deleting the entire contents of their inbox?
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