How to Fix Email … With Science!


No one likes email. This is a broken piece of the modern world we haven’t broken up yet even today should listen to Slack pings and Teams. But a couple of researchers have discovered a simple way to reduce fear in the inbox: return the email to it. asynchronous nga medicine.

Most of us think we need to respond to email right away, and half of us responded within an hour. And that means so many of us respond to messages during off -hours or when we’re in the middle of the flow of actual work. That’s a problem, because we all get so many emails, spend more than one quarter of our work time in such messages.

After running a series of eight different studies, Laura M. Giurge, from London Business School, and Vanessa Bohns, from Cornell University, may have the answer: stop treating email like Slack.

Email is a valuable tool because it’s flexible, allows for extensive collaboration even with people outside your company, and it’s asynchronous, meaning the recipient and sender don’t have to be online or work at the same time. “We turn the advantages into disadvantages,” Giurge said. “It’s something that needs to be used as an asynchronous means of communication, and somehow we’re starting to use it as an ‘all the time’ way of communication.”

Instant messaging tools, such as Slack, may require an instant recognition — even if it’s just a GIF or thumbs up emoji — because they’re often used as ways to collaborate on the same job. time. But it’s time to reconsider email being more like old paper mail: When you receive your broadband bill from your ISP, you no longer, however, write a letter to confirm receipt and signal your intent. to pay; you only pay when you have the moment.

This will only work if we all agree, of course, and bosses have trained their staff to jump to attention when a new message arrives in their inbox. “Email should make our lives easier by allowing us to work anywhere, anytime,” Bohns said. “However, we work everywhere, all the time … because of the pressure we feel to be able to respond immediately when we hear that same in our email.”

Anyone with an email account is a sender and a receiver, so understanding the perspective of others should be easy, but we often forget. “At the time of delivery, we were so focused on our own vision that we failed to remember what it felt like from the recipient’s perspective,” Bohns said.

A sender may not even want a quick response — not least if it means they have work to do — but when that message arrives in your inbox, it’s suddenly on your to-do list. “As a recipient, you’re so worried about other people’s expectations, what they’ll think if you don’t get them back right away — that you’re not dedicated or indifferent or indifferent — that we’re really worried about being able to respond, ”Said Giurge.



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