Workplace Wellbeing: Tip Number 3 – Have a “no internal emails day”
Let me start by telling you a fact about emails that you may have missed while checking your Inbox today. Emails are an ineffective form of communication. Don’t get me wrong here. They are a GRRREAT way of sending information and data, instantly, to as many people as you want, for free. They have their place. But when it comes to effectively communicating a message, they miss the mark by a long way. What some organisations have reverted to is communicating internally by emails instead of by the phone or face-to-face. So what if we were to change this habit for just one day?
Tip Number 3. Have a “No internal emails day”
The amount of emails that we send and receive has increased for a variety of reasons. We tend to believe that the more emails that we send the busier and more productive we are. What undermines this idea is that we can sometimes be transferring responsibility and tasks to others that we don’t want to do ourselves, as well as displaying to others how hard that we’re working by the number of emails that we send. Add to this people who want to CC everybody to “keep them in the loop”, and those who think that having a “paper trail” is vital, and you have email chaos. To combat this problem some of my clients have decided to have a “no internal emails day”, and it has worked really well and here’s why?
People will exercise more. A 2012 VicHealth Survey identified that the second biggest problem facing business is Sedentary Behavior. This initiative will get them up and out of their chairs and walking about. Consider providing Fitbits or pedometers for them to wear to see how far they walk on that day compared to others.
People will interact more. Face to face communication is much more time effective than emails. This means less time will be spent discussing issues that will offset the time spent walking to see them. It will also enhance staff relationships and energy levels will be raised.
People will be more focused on other tasks on that day. This day could be dedicated to high-level tasks. Strategy, planning, and streamlining procedures, as examples. Make this a day to work ON the business. Staff meetings on this day will provide the venue to discuss matters normally done by emails also.
People will be moved away from other forms of social media. There is a natural link between emails, twitter, Facebook, You Tube, SMS and the likes. No internal emails days can help to break this pattern. You will probably find that some staff will be using these other forms to keep in touch also. Ask them to stop these as well just for one day.
More emails will be processed faster on the other days. Our unconscious brain will allocate less time on each email on the other days due to a potential increased volume. Try to get staff to allocate blocks of time in their day to process as many emails as they can, once again focusing on the external ones first.
About the Author
Merv is an ex TEC member and has been a TEC speaker since 2010. As a Director of Holistic Services Group, he specializes in assisting businesses of all types and sizes to create and then implement their Workplace Wellbeing programs. For more information you can contact Merv on 0408 552269