What if, when you awoke to start another busy day, you walked into your kitchen to make coffee and found paper mail stacked a foot high across all the countertops?
Would the scene inspire you? Nurture your best problem-solving skills? Unleash wild creativity?
Yet nearly all employees, from clerk to CEO, face the virtual equivalent every day when they log into work-related email. Many, many do so from their mobile phones before they leave for the office, inviting stress before they’re dressed.
Conservatively, the average business person receives 100 emails a day. The numbers increase with title and responsibility. Which internal emails are must-reads? Are you getting copied only as a courtesy? Is a response expected? Does a supervisor want a meeting? Is she asking my opinion or trying to get me on board an initiative that’s been decided?
Information Overload is real and costly. Basex, a knowledge economy research firm, estimates information overload costs the U.S. economy at least $997 billion per year in reduced productivity and innovation. The company (using figures from 2010) and other researchers estimate 25-28 percent of the working day is lost to a glut that includes email, social media and instant messaging – reflecting both the time needed to keep up and the time needed to regroup and focus after each interruption.
The following statistics from a NPR story only hint at the overload:
- Americans get and send nearly 3 billion emails per day.
- In 1995 American workers sent/received on average 8 emails/day. By 2005 that figure was more than 90/day.
- Wading through email is second only to meetings in wasting on-the-job time.
And those figures are 10 years old, from a 2005 broadcast. Even then, corporate America processed an average of 16,000 emails per person per year. The Radicati Group, a technology market research firm, estimates 100 billion business emails were sent and received every day in 2013.
Faced with such daunting numbers, adding yet another mode of communication sounds counter-intuitive. But communication and collaboration are not the same. A tool like Callibrain puts the important information front and center, consolidates the big picture and day-to-day tasks in one place and makes true collaboration simple.
It’s like starting each day with a clean desk and an empty inbox.