Re:Re:Fw:Re: Workers Spend 650 Hours a Year on Email

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Unless you happen to get some sort of obsessive compulsive satisfaction from keeping your inbox in shipshape -- and hey, if you do, more power to ya -- dealing with email has got to be one of the most deadening aspects of any office job. And if the tedium of Outlook management wasn't already dreadful enough, consider this: There's a good chance you spend more than a quarter of each week reading and answering those emails. 

That factlet comes courtesy of the McKinsey Global Institute, which broke down how so-called "interaction workers" spend their days. They describe these as people whose jobs require "complex interactions with other people, independent judgment, and access to information." I'm interpreting it as consultant speak for "office stiff." 

The upshot: we spend 13 hours a week, or 28 percent of our office time, on email. Assuming two weeks vacation, that multiplies out to 650 hours a year. 

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As anyone who has spent an inordinate amount of time typing out a formal email to their boss knows, this is not an efficient state of affairs. And McKinsey suggests that by moving to social media-based information platforms -- think some of the more recent versions of Microsoft Sharepoint -- would make workers 25 percent more productive. True? Who knows. But perhaps one day soon, we'll be able to leave behind the tyranny of Outlook. Can't come soon enough, if you ask me. 

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Jordan Weissmann is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic.

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