Email dominates business communication but poor processes kill productivity and frustrate employees
Mail Manager research finds 32% of employees spend nearly one working day per week managing inboxes
Email remains easily the most-used and most important communication tool but a lack of email management is having a major impact on business productivity. These are the findings of research revealed today by Mail Manager, a leading email management solution and part of the Arup Group, a global multinational professional services firm, which surveyed more than 1,000 decision-makers from organisations in the United Kingdom and the United States.
The Email and Document Management Usage Benchmark report found that more than nine out of ten employees (91%) use email to communicate with their clients, while 61% prefer to use it more than any other form of communication tool. By comparison, 11% of respondents said their preferred medium was Skype and WhatsApp and 5% prefer to use Slack.
However, the continued inefficient use and management of email has led to it having a major effect on businesses’ efficiency and productivity. One-third of respondents (32%) spend at least one hour per day – the equivalent of nearly one working day per week – managing their email inboxes and 70% believe it’s one of the biggest productivity drains on the workforce. Furthermore, 73% of respondents say that too much time is wasted on trying to find emails and 38% believe “it’s not very easy” to find information in their inbox.
Jacob Wardrop, Commercial Director at Mail Manager said: “Email is the letter of today. While tools like Slack and WhatsApp are great for informal correspondence and chat, email remains the core correspondence method for formal communication.
“Before the digital era, companies would send formal correspondence as letters, which would be physically stored. Now, email is the tool for formal correspondence, but the need for filing and securely storing this communication remains, even though it’s digital.”
Poor email management drains productivity
Less than half of organisations (46%) use a formal, paid-for email management solution and only 35% use a dedicated document management solution. As a result, 46% of the respondents said they save or store less than half of their emails, while 62% still keep hard copies of emails. Furthermore, nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) said that email filing isn’t considered part of their quality management procedure.
The knock-on effect of this is employees being left frustrated by not being able to find specific documents in their inbox (56%), which ends up with them wasting time (60%), being less productive (50%) and losing visibility of project information through the lack of a paper trail (52%).
Email remains vital to business communication
Email continues to be used for a wide range of business purposes, with the most common being internal and team communications (74%) and client communication (70%). It’s also vital to tasks like sharing project work internally (68%), sharing contracts (65%) and important documentation (63%), and sharing project work with clients (62%).
The research also highlighted the importance of managing email, with respondents claiming it’s essential to delivering good record management (87%), providing better information visibility (86%) and quality management (84%). While 84% of respondents also claimed that poor email management could have significant consequences for their business.
Wardrop added: “This insight from businesses in the UK and the US shows they face common issues when it comes to email and document management. It’s clear that email remains vital to employees being as effective as possible and maintaining strong relationships with their clients.
“However, businesses still aren’t deploying effective email and document management solutions that make their employees’ lives easier and help them quickly find the documents and information they need when they need it. As a result, people are still being frustrated by wasting time digging through their email inboxes, which means they can’t be as productive as they and their employers want them to be.”
Download the full report on the research here.
About Mail Manager
Mail Manager is a leading email management solution, developed by Arup. Mail Manager works with more than 2,500 firms globally, with more than 70,000 users benefitting from powerful filing and search capabilities. For more information, visit www.mailmanager.com.