With email cited as the fourth biggest distraction in the office, PITR asked a selection of resellers if they have introduced any policies to better manage this vital yet time-consuming, productivity-sapping form of communication.
“In a small, focused organisation such as DSales UK we have naturally high productivity levels from all our motivated staff. Electronic communication including email has boosted productivity. In fact, online ordering has streamlined a crucial part of our business to our benefit and that of our channel partners.”
Jonathan Whitworth, Managing Director, DSales UK
“I definitely think email slows us down. People are sometimes more comfortable to sit behind the shield of Outlook than to pick up the phone, which would undoubtedly be quicker. I am not sure there are any policies that could help with this, as ultimately you could be receiving an email enquiry from a prospective customer, an order, or an enquiry from an existing supplier or customer.
“All require the same level of attention, so it is a tricky subject to solve. We have tried answering emails received pre-12 noon in the afternoon, so we are more productive in the mornings and are able to get tasks done. However, it didn’t work as well as hoped, so we have now come to a situation where emails are responded to as quickly as possible!”
Sam Elphick, Sales Manager, Lex Business Equipment
“We have one rule: ‘Unsubscribe!’. We reviewed email traffic recently and noted the huge amount of unwanted and spam email. Although a quick press of the delete button cures the problem short-term, the only way to resolve the issue is to unsubscribe from these emails.
“These unwanted emails cloud the real picture. They can result in the deletion of genuine emails that sit in the middle of spam, and unwanted email sometimes get missed. The other way of resolving the problem is to add the sender to ‘junk’ ensuring that you don’t get to see them. As with all procedures, it is important that you keep up with the process to avoid it taking over!”
Matt Goodall, Service Director, Office Evolution
“Mountains of emails appear inevitable, but we do try to make sure that our internal communication is as efficient as possible. The question we ask ourselves is, ’Would a telephone call not be quicker?’. “If email is the best option, we use prefixes in the email subject line, such as ‘information’, ‘recreational’ and ‘action’, so the recipient knows what is expected of them. Ensuring the task owner is unambiguous and clear on how and when feedback or action is required saves a lot of confusion. These rules help to reduce the volume of email and the dreaded ‘email tennis’ and allow our staff skilfully to navigate their email and get on with their day.”
Michael Alsancak, Marketing Assistant, Arena Group