Misdiagnosing the email malaise

A zero email policy for internal communications is never going to work unless we are also willing to dismantle the mountain of bureaucracy that feeds the volumes of mail clogging up our in-boxes.

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about Atos’ CEO Theirry Breton’s plan to implement a zero email policy for internal communications. According to Breton, only 10 per cent of emails received per day are useful. 18 per cent of all email is spam. I’m curious – what percentage of emails generated internally are deemed as being useless by the people sending them? I’m guessing that would be something closer to zero.

I’m not being flippant. I think that’s the crux of the problem. While I applaud Breton’s desire to increase productivity and to reduce the encroachment of work into people’s personal lives, I’m afraid he’s misdiagnosed the problem.


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