Friday, November 9, 2007

Inbox overflow leads to less colleague contact

In my newspaper the NRC I read an interesting article about our always overflowing inbox’s and its implications for our contacts with colleagues. Douwe Egbert coffee systems saw that less and less colleagues meet at the coffee corner for a talk and a cup of coffee. Contact with colleagues, even if their just around the corner, is often done by email. So, they asked a bureau to investigate this. They found that more than 50% of Dutch employees says that personal contact has decreased because of email. They would like to be able to talk (live) with their colleagues.

For this reason companies, such as U.S. Cellular, Deloitte and Intel have a ‘no e-mail Friday’. This does not seem to be a structural solution, others say, because now everyone sending more e-mail on Monday to Thursday. Anyway it’s a good signal to the employees.

Others say there should be an e-mail code of conduct. (Within R&D 20 colleagues defined such a code of conduct in a workshop some time ago.)

What do you think? Is this article also representative for your company too? Are you too longing for more live contact with colleagues? Do you have experience with a ‘no e-mail Friday’ or a code of conduct? Do they work?

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