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Training Bulletin Issue 63

Technostressed and technofrazzled

Technostress is a thing, who knew? Well, actually, we probably all did, we just didn't know it was such a well-established thing that it had a name and a body of research attached to it. And if someone out there can make up a word like 'technostress' in the first place then I propose the word 'technofrazzled' to describe its effect.

Email ate my life

The main contributor to the latest work malaise is email, and as we now frequently access it by smartphones, it means we are always accessible, always on. Recent stories in the press suggest that business is starting to wake up to the fact that this is not necessarily a good thing.

A French company called Atos Origin was in the news after its CEO announced in 2011 that he was going to ban email. Atos is a technology company employing over 70,000 staff and the CEO in question used to be a professor at Harvard Business School, and also the Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry for France for two years so we aren't talking about some dippy Californian start-up here.

Since 2011 Atos has put in a less intrusive social network for internal communications, and managed to cut the amount of internal email by around 60%, without any loss in productivity.

Other studies suggest that just by having set times to check email rather than responding immediately to each notification can enable better concentration and result in less stress.

You can read more about it here: https://hbr.org/2016/06/some-companies-are-banning-email-and-getting-more-done
and here: https://www.laserfiche.com/simplicity/so-hows-atos-no-email-project-coming/

So email isn't going away then?

Realistically, no. Actually, we should be grateful because if progress follows its usual arc with email being more intrusive than letters and faxes, then its replacement might be worse yet – telepathic messages from the boss, anyone? No, didn't think so.

And email does have many good points after all:

Making the best of it

Think of it as making email work for you, rather than you working for email.

Don't be a voice in the wilderness

The suggestions above come from our one-day Email Masterclass (https://www.plainwords.co.uk/co_effective_email.html)

It won't make much difference if you are the only one in your office doing these things, though. Your recipients may be less technofrazzled but you won't be if everyone else is still following bad email practice in what they send you. We can help you improve everyone's email game by presenting some in house sessions for you. Contact us to discuss how we can adapt our course to fit in with your timescales and requirements.

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