Too much stress at work? Ban emails!

We loved this story in the news recently about a French tech company called Atos which is taking massive steps to ban the sending of internal emails. Atos feels there is an unnecessary over reliance on email as a form of communication and transmission of information.

“We are producing data on a massive scale that is fast polluting our working environments and also encroaching into our personal lives,” CEO Thierry Breton is quoted as saying in the article.

Atos have devised their own internal instant messaging system, combined with an “Atos Wiki” – a central repository of information that is updated by staff which they can access at will, rather than an endless stream of documents going back and forth.

You don’t need to create your own internal communication system from scratch in order to enjoy the same benefits, as there is such a massive range of communication tools available now, and many of them are free. Live Messenger and Google Talk are easy to set up and use, and Skype has an instant messaging function too.

Have a go at instant messaging if you’re not already, and let us know how you get on!


3 steps to getting to the bottom of your inbox

So that’s one way of dealing with email generated unnecessarily by people within your company – but what about dealing with email?

San Sharma from Enterprise Nation, a company specialising in supporting home- and remote-workers, shares his three tips for getting to the bottom of your inbox (and you can read his original article here):

1. Delete
Recognise you have a problem, and block some time in your diary to sorting out your email. San recommends deleting as much as you can – notifications, newsletters, spam, and any requests from people that you have either dealt with, or that have expired.

2. Organise
Next he recommends creating four folders (the @ at the beginning keep the folders at the top of your alphabetical list):
i. @Action
ii. @Reply
iii. @Some Day
iv. Archive

He then suggests you go through your remaining emails. Anything that can be replied to in less than two minutes, do it now. Anything that needs a reply but will take longer gets moved to @Reply.

For emails requiring action, follow the same procedure: less than two minutes, do it now, more than two minutes, move it to @Action folder.

Anything interesting but not time sensitive goes into @Some Day.

And anything that you might need to keep for future reference goes into Archive.

3. Prevent
Develop a routine to stay on top of your emails now as they come in … and don’t leave your email open! Limit yourself to checking emails at set intervals during the day.