With close to 150,000 emails being sent globally every minute, it’s no surprise that the average office worker spends close to 13 hours a week processing emails. And unfortunately, many of those emails are redundant, unimportant or irrelevant to the receiver, resulting in hours of unproductive time. So how can companies help prevent inbox bloat? Here are the top 5 ways companies can reduce email overload and encourage successful communication.
Having integrated collaboration tools like MangoApps in your enterprise is a great way to ensure that key emails are tracked and employees are notified about updates. This is especially important when employees use a single email for both personal and office use. Collaboration tools often even replace emails by creating a centralized location for communication and company information through company pages, news feeds, wikis, dashboards and more. MangoApps can also sync with an employee’s calendar and send automatic reminds and notifications about upcoming meetings or events. Such tools encourage organization and communication and benefit both companies and their employees.
Organization and Filters
Email marketing has a median ROI of over 122%. While that might be good news for businesses in general, for an employee, it often means an inbox flooded with promotional messages. If employees are going to be able to successfully sort important work emails from unnecessary extras, it is vital for them to set inbox labels and filters. How an employee organizes his or her own inbox often comes down to personal preference, an inbox, for example, could be maintained by showing company emails first or by enabling notifications for priority messages, but whatever you choose some kind of system needs to be in place. Making a plan and organizing your inbox can make the difference between keeping up with important announcements and having to declare email bankruptcy.
Light and Lean Inboxes
Employees should avoid whenever possible subscribing to promotional material, newsletters and other non-work-related subscriptions from their office email. Enough extra promotional material will end up in your inbox without you asking for it. Spending some time now unsubscribing from promotional emails will save you from hundreds of future unwanted emails and will make it much easier to keep a clutter-free inbox. Sometimes it is even necessary to block senders so that they become more responsible in the future. Customer or work-related emails that are no longer active should be archived and moved out of the inbox and ongoing email threads should always be as succinct and clear as possible.
Fixed Response Times
Setting aside a few minutes at a set time every day to tackle an inbox can make all the difference in the world in the effort to reduce email overload. Even when employees are on vacation, spending just 10 minutes to check the office inbox can ensure that they are caught up on important events and that any critical communication can be acknowledged. When you decided to dedicate your time to email is up to you and what works best with your schedule but it should be at a consistent time and for a consistent period of every work day.
Many official emails could be answered with the same reply, especially when all that is needed is a simple acknowledgment or approval. Designing a few templates that match your most common email circumstances will save you time and reduce email overload in the long run. Even if the answer isn’t exactly the same, having a template with a similar situation will give employees a good place to start and will make answering emails simpler and more straightforward. Preplanned and prepared templates can also ensure that emails include all of the necessary information, saving employees the hassle of having to go back over information or send multiple emails if some information was forgotten.
As you can see, most of the tips we shared here to reduce email overload really depend on employees to change their operational mindset surrounding email practices. Organizations need to conduct regular training and awareness programs to help employees practice good email techniques and habits until these practices become cultural norms. At MangoApps, we help companies work together to reduce wasted time and communicate better. Contact us to learn more about how we work with companies to increase outcomes and improve collaboration.