• United States

Users can’t resist checking work-related e-mail

Feb 03, 20042 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging Apps

* Users check work-related e-mail frequently, survey shows

We’re just wrapping up a survey of technical and non-technical e-mail users with regard to how and how often they check work-related e-mail.

Here’s a summary of what we found:

* While they’re at work, two-thirds of users check their e-mail for new messages more or less continually, while another 17% check a few times each hour. This desire and/or need for the immediacy of communication via e-mail explains much of the preference for e-mail over more traditional communications media, such as the telephone. It also explains why the real-time communications capability of instant messaging has proven to be popular in the workplace.

* Most people check their work-related e-mail even when they’re not at work. For example, more than one-half of users check work-related e-mail at least once each weekday when they’re at home, while about two-thirds of users check their work-related e-mail at least once during the typical weekend. E-mail provides an extremely convenient method for allowing employees the flexibility of working from home. It also allows them to keep tabs on what’s happening at work, particularly in large, geographically distributed organizations where work-related e-mail can arrive at any hour of the day.

* Not surprisingly, about 80% of users check work-related e-mail at least once a day while traveling, but the majority of these people check more than once per day while traveling. The increasing use of wireless devices will continue to fuel the push to check e-mail almost constantly.

* Even when people are on vacation, they still check their e-mail. We found that more than 60% of people check at least once during a vacation. One out of every five users checks work-related e-mail at least once each day while on a vacation.

* About three-quarters of employers do not have a policy against receiving personal e-mail via the corporate e-mail system, and about the same percentage has no policy against checking personal e-mail accounts while at work.

For more highlights of the research, visit: