The Tyranny Of Email: Many Workers Would Rather Quit Than Open More

Email marketers cannot be pleased by a new survey from Superhuman showing that 31% of work-at-home employees are desperate for a break from email. In fact, 22% want to leave their jobs because of the sheer volume of email they receive every day. 

Granted, they are talking about work emails they might have to respond to. An even greater number — 44% — crave a day without video calls. And 25% want a notification-free day. 

Still, overcrowded workplace inboxes are a challenge for B2B brands trying to grab attention and newsletter publishers struggling for readership. Their emails can easily disappear when workers are trashing their inboxes. 

Moreover, 64% agree that the would rather commute to work than keep sorting through the email, Slack/Teams and other notifications they receive. And 19% apiece agree with this either strongly or somewhat. 

And perhaps even more alarmingly, 49% would rather clean their bathrooms than sort through 10 days of unopened emails. The remainder prefer to go through the emails. 



Work remains top of mind. Of those polled, 63% would rather respond to an email from their boss or team, while 37% would rather respond to a text from a friend or family member. 

That pressure is on at all times, with 77% of remote workers frequently checking on work before their morning routines, 31% doing so often and 46% doing so all the time. 

It varies by age — 31% of workers ages 40 and younger check their emails within a minute of waking up. This drops to 19% among employees aged 40 and up. 

Attitudes also depend on gender — 64% of women deal with a notification in five minutes or less, versus 56% of men. Why? Because women are more concerned about their career progression during the pandemic, the study notes.  

Overall, 96% of remote workers deem it important to achieve Inbox Zero, with 52% saying it's very important. Inbox Zero occurs when every email has been archived, delegated or answered, the study continues. 

And while attempting to achieve that goal may be a distraction, respondents say they do work at it. Of those polled, 47% normally end their work days at Inbox Zero every three days. Another 40% get there in zero days, and 13% in one or two days.

Note to employers: Here’s what would make your staff more productive: 

Daily break time for things like a nap or exercise — 36%

Devoted "Self-Care Day" each month — 36%

Dedicated "meeting-free" day each week — 34%

One-time stipend to perfect my home office setup — 31%

Monthly budget for productivity apps or software — 26% 

Nothing from my employer would make me more productive — 9% 

Other — 1%

Superhuman surveyed 1,000 U.S. workers in February. 

1 comment about "The Tyranny Of Email: Many Workers Would Rather Quit Than Open More".
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  1. Jonathan May from HorseTV Global, April 22, 2021 at 6:21 p.m.

    Poor snowflakes....perhaps they would like their employers to send them a daily hot chocolate, and tuck them in at night with a mint on their pillow. Ohh yes, throw in a Kum-bah-ya Day as well.  I remember when people were glad to have a job and wanted to do a good job for the people giving them a paycheck.  Now they seem to think they are a gift to their employer.  Fortunately we have a Team that takes pride in their work, and will do what it takes to get the job done properly.  They still exist, really.  Since when was communication such a burden?

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