Inbox Withdrawal

Even the FT’s Lucy Kellaway, who coined the unlovely term “worliday,” now sees the wisdom of ignoring email on vacation.

Slowing down email

Email is wonderful but it’s getting out of hand. It’s so easy and fast that we end up hitting the Send button without even thinking – and we get hooked on being in contact. This year, the average corporate user fired off 27 percent more emails than in 2006. Many employees now check email every 90 seconds. How can you ever concentrate, think deeply or even relax in that kind of electronic bombardment? The answer is that you can’t, which is why the corporate world is clamping down. Big firms like Deloitte & Touche, Intel and U.S. Cellular are now imposing limits on how much email staff can send and when they can send it. The idea is to help staff relax and work better, and to encourage slower, more efficient forms of communication in the office, such as getting up off your rear-end and walking across the hall to talk face-to-face to a colleague. The email bans often face early resistance but eventually even the heaviest emailers come round.

Slow email

The Slow email movement from IBM has a rival. The good people at Slowlab are developing a new email service that will slow down the pace of electronic messaging. It’s called SLOWmail. It works like this. You tag your message with a description of your relationship with the recipient (lover, sibling, etc), where they are in the world and the mood of the message (ironic, angry, frivolous, etc). Based on this data, as well as on your emailing history with the recipient, the SLOWmail software will then assign a delivery time. You can then track the email’s progress through cyberspace. It all sounds fascinating. If you want to know more, clickHERE.