The sometimes excruciatingly dull process of reading and responding to emails is apparently costing UK business as much as £203.4 billion and could be one of the root causes behind the UK’s productivity problems, according to Oasys Mail Manager.

The email management firm’s research suggests that the average annual cost of the time spent laboriously monitoring and using emails could be as much as £6,554.90 per employee.

A worker spends an average of 492 hours per year using email and sends or receives an average of 114 emails in a single day.

Alec Milton, managing director of Oasys Mail Manager, said: “Email has become a drain on our economy and a key contributor to poor productivity. It is meant to be a critical business tool but few people use it efficiently now and the massive volume of emails flooding inboxes means filing and searching for information has become harder and more time consuming.

“The UK economy is steadily growing but suspicions remain about our ability to sustain growth without a stronger output per employee. A steady improvement in our use of email would generate significant capacity in our economy and allow more time to focus on tasks – on production and growth.”

According to Oasys Mail Manager, the increasing inefficiencies in the way people use email means that this time is costing the UK economy more and more as the value and usefulness of those emails reduces.

It points to the duplication of email through superfluous copying and the lack of effective email filing and search facilities as contributing factors to the ineffectiveness of time used on email.

Alec Milton added: “Barely an hour passes without most of us wondering why we were copied on a certain email. The amount of email duplication in our business communications is huge and it is taking its toll on productivity.

“The sheer volume of emails we receive means filing and storing them effectively is also much harder. Employers have to address this, either with practical advice or by investing in software to aid email management.”





Robert joined the HRreview editorial team in October 2015. After graduating from the University of Salford in 2009 with a BA in Politics, Robert has spent several years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past he has been part of editorial teams at Flux Magazine, Mondo*Arc Magazine and The Marine Professional.