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Wasting Time with Irrelevant Emails at Work?

Brits spend on average 20 percent of their working week on email dealing with irrelevant messages, new research reveals.

To resolve this problem, social collaboration is investigated as a possible solution, to enable employees and consumers to communicate more effectively via email by linking social network tools to their accounts.

Over a quarter of those surveyed by YouGov on behalf of IBM spend a considerable amount of time at work chasing people for responses on email, dealing with irrelevant messages, and resending emails.

A further 44 percent of respondents claim they receive more than 20 emails a day and four percent, in excess of 100 a day, which is the equivalent of over a staggering 35,000 emails a year.

Understandably, 21 percent would happily consider an application to complement their email, so they can easily find past sent and received messages amongst other key collaborative tools.

Junk mail, advertising and online scams were also considered an annoyance amongst regular email users.  As were difficulties in knowing for certain that an email and its attachment had been read, the right person had received the email and does the reply actually answer the question asked.

As a result, IBM is promoting the benefits of linking email to social collaboration solutions such as their IBM Connections.

“The results of this survey are very revealing,” said Darren Adams, IBM UK & Ireland, Portfolio Manager, Messaging and Collaboration.

“Social collaboration offers great opportunities for business and allows users in disparate location to easily collaborate and ensure they are reaching out to the right people with the require expertise and knowledge.”

Collaboration of Email and Popular Social Networks

An estimate 970 million business and 950 million consumer email users are estimated by 2014, indicating email’s strong presence in both these markets in the current climate and years to come.

It is however predicted to become integrated in the social framework rather than the static one-to-one exchange it is at the moment.  It is hoped, as email is integrated and linked to other sources such as social networks, users will be able to more effectively communicate and coordinate information.

Social collaboration enables people to address the difficulties they are currently experiencing with traditional functionalities of email, with tools they are familiar with from social networks.  But are we linking too many different sites together, making the process of communication even more convoluted?

The study by IBM points out effective communication is even more important in business environments where colleagues are not based in the same location, or move about continuously, as is increasingly the case.

Thirty five percent of online Brits who use email have colleagues who are not based at the same location as themselves, while 12 percent work in a different workplace to over half of their workmates.