Eight of Ten Get More Efficient, Two in Ten Lose Jobs With eMail

Eight of Ten Get More Efficient, Two in Ten Lose Jobs With eMail

According to a new survey from the American Management Association, Clearswift, and The ePolicy Institute, 22% of companies have terminated an employee for e-mail infractions and e-mail users spend about 25% of the workday on e-mail. Over 1,100 US employers participated in the 2003 E-Mail Survey, a follow-up to an e-mail survey conducted by the American Management Association and ePolicy Institute in 2001.

The survey in detail revealed that:

- The average respondent spends about 107 minutes (1 hour 47 minutes) on e-mail every day ... about 25% of the workday. While 24% report spending less than one hour, 31% spend more than two hours and 8% more than four hours.

- 76% of respondents say that they have lost time in the last year due to e-mail system problems. 35% estimate they lost only half a day, but 24% think they have lost more than two days.

Ivan O'Sullivan, vice president at Clearswift, says "These statistics reveal and solidify the idea that companies need to train employees how to maximize productive use of e-mail." "While 75% of organizations have written e-mail policies in place, only 48% offer e-policy education to employees, and merely 27% offer e-mail retention/deletion training." said Nancy Flynn, co-author of E-Mail Rules.

- Eighty-six percent of respondents agree that e-mail has made them more efficient, in spite of the fact that 92% receive spam mail at work. Fully 47% say spam constitutes more than 10% of all their e-mail; 7% report spam represents over 50% of all e-mail received.

- According to the compiled data, in 2003, more than half (52%) of U.S. companies engage in some form of e-mail monitoring of employees and enforce e-mail policies with discipline or other methods. In fact, 22% of companies have terminated an employee for e-mail infractions.

- While 90% of employers have installed software to monitor incoming and outgoing e-mail, only 19% are using technology to monitor internal e-mail among employees.

"Management's failure to check internal e-mail is a potentially costly oversight," says Ivan O'Sullivan, Vice President of survey co-sponsor Clearswift. "Off-the-cuff, casual e-mail conversations among employees are exactly the type of messages that tend to trigger lawsuits, arm prosecutors with damaging evidence, and provide the media with embarrassing real-life disaster stories. The fact that 90% of respondents send and receive personal e-mail at work and 66% of companies lack a policy for deleting nonessential messages, compounds the problem."