Welcome to the Emailogic blog
At Emailogic we believe everyone should be a brilliant email user. Training in email etiquette creates huge productivity gains that mean staff have more time, reduce email traffic and communicate more effectively. And it is not difficult to achieve - as hundreds of thousands of Emailogic graduates have proven.
Can you honestly say that every minute of your working day is spent productively?
Taking lunch and coffee breaks out of the equation, how do you really spend your “working” time?
If most of your day is spent managing email – and dealing with overload, irrelevant traffic and unnecessary copies – then you are not alone. If this is the case then you will almost certainly not be productive, you will definitely be stressed and – more than likely – you will feel unhappy.
According to a City AM report, the average British worker spends 36 (36!) days per year just writing emails – which based on a 71/2 hour day means that each person spends just over one hour composing emails.
Now add reading the unnecessary emails, deleting the irrelevant emails, reading the copied email (that you should not have been sent in the first place) forwarding the emails for your colleagues, managers or associates to deal with and you have probably another hour or two of working time that is fundamentally unproductive.
It’s the productivity equivalent of pushing unwanted and un-eaten mushy peas round your school dinner plate – an activity that takes up your time, adds nothing nutritionally and all you end up with is a pile of uneaten peas – which are now cold.
To avoid a pile of cold peas just learn to get back in control of your email. Get some email training, learn how to use your email package features to automate many of the daily tasks, turn off your email alerts to avoid unwanted interruptions and start to get back to actually doing your job.
One of the most common reasons for not investing in email training for staff is the perceived lack of need. Email is everywhere, every day. We all know how to use it, what difference would training make?
It’s all common sense anyway.
While these sorts of excuses or reasons may seem valid on the surface, the facts demonstrate that email volume is growing, email related stress – a real problem for HR- shows no signs of being managed effectively, work/life balance is more often than out of balance due to the constant demands of work based emails.
Email is addictive – this is a proven fact.
We worked with a large UK based truck company recently – you see their trucks up and the motorway on a daily basis.
We talked about their training programme for Lorry drivers; what they had done and the results they had achieved. Their response was surprising – one of the main reasons they stayed ahead of the competition was due to the Lorry driving training they offered to customers.
They told us that by simply training their customer’s Lorry drivers to make simple adjustments in the way they drove their vehicles saved their customers 15% on fuel costs.
You can imagine that the return on investment for a company with a large fleet by making these basic changes is huge.
Their customers spend a lot of money on their drivers and a lot of money on lorries – but they do not invest enough on training the drivers (even the experienced ones) in how to drive the lorries most efficiently.
The same applies to email – you spend significant amounts on IT systems and even more on your people. But what about spending on training your people how to use the IT systems most efficiently? Giving staff the tools and techniques they need to manage their email more effectively will result in more productive staff who are less stressed, writing clearer emails that achieve faster results.
Add to the fact that email training from Emailogic can be delivered in an hour, to anyone, at any location and the reasons for not training staff appear less and less easy to justify.
Some might say email training is a “no brainer” – what does your brain tell you?
While other forms of collaboration and communication are being introduced – almost daily it seems – email is here for now and still the dominant way we communicate in business.
Human beings find it difficult enough to communicate clearly face to face but put wire, distance and time between them and clear communication becomes something that has to be worked on – it does not just happen.
It is now obvious that in businesses if people are not trained on how to use email – you just get what you get. In most organisations that is what you have got – huge amounts of unnecessary traffic, mixed messages and misunderstandings, hiding behind the medium, legal nightmares and so it goes on. People need training. The training rule is also needed for any new communications took like Yammer – as mentioned in the article – or Lync or any other tool that is introduced.
If you don’t plan this into your training budgets and include the major stakeholders when you introduce these tools you will just get what you get. And with many of client organisations, this is what they have got (and have had for many years!).
Plenty of money is invested in the hardware and software – yet very little is invested in showing the humans how to get the most out of the hardware or software.
We can prove that with the right training people can write clearer more effective emails that get results fast. We also know that time spent on email is reduced by at least 30 minutes per day – that is the equivalent of 16 extra days per year. Just this year already we have saved each member of staff at an outstanding University college 42 minutes a day.
So how long will your organisation leave it until they train people on how to use their email and other communications tools properly.
If you want some help you know where to look.
An interesting BBC article here which shows that even very mature organisations that have the best communicators in the world (like the BBC) need training too.
What happens if you are concentrating on a task and you spot an unread email in your inbox?
How easy do you find it to ignore a potentially interesting new message and stay focused on the task in hand?
Would you be surprised to learn that research has proved that this break in your thought pattern effectively reduces your IQ by 10 points?
It’s this Pavlovian response to external stimuli that makes information overload a peculiarly 21st century problem.
One of the problems with this phenomenon is that information overload not only causes us to lose focus it means that we sometimes only half complete tasks.
We think we are multi-tasking – but in fact we are “half tasking”.
Research conducted by Psychologists at Gresham College, London compares this cognitive loss on the brain as that similar to that suffered by smoking cannabis.
Email as a communication medium is particularly problematic – regardless of the size of company or the business sector in which they function.
The sheer volume of messages that we receive compounds us to respond.
Often we are totally incapable of prioritising those emails that do in fact require a response and those which are merely copies or “information only” messages.
What are the solutions to this addictive behaviour? Are there any? – or do we need to accept this onslaught of information as part of life?
All is not lost. There are simple things that we can do to improve our productivity and decrease our email related stress.
- Take a break 15 minutes every 2-3 hours to stretch your legs and go for a walk. Maybe pop to the cafeteria or get some fresh air?
- Get some basic email training. This will make you a more responsible email user and help you to prioritise and deal with your message most effectively
- Sort out your inbox. Suggest that the whole company holds an email free day to get on top of email once and for all. You could call it your Company Email Amnesty.
- Call Emailogic to show you how to do 2 and 3
The problems of email overload are not going to go away. But the solutions are in our own hands.
Tackle it today – or continue to let it overpower you.
As the new year starts most of our thoughts turn to diets and staying healthy.
The rise of drastic” juice-based” diets tell us that we need results - fast – and the same is true of our overflowing and bloated email inboxes.
So, if the thought of starting the year with the equivalent of an email “spare tyre” is enough to drive you crackers, take heed of the Emailogic guide to your inbox detox.
- Delete all the spam and junk from your current inbox
- Delete the old pre Christmas round robin emails
- Create a new email folder
- Call it “2014 inbox”
- Copy all your current un-read emails into this folder
- Start applying the following common sense rules to all new emails that you receive in January:(i) Set up a Rule to mark your important emails red or green (for example those from the boss)
(ii) Spend some time unsubscribing from emails you no longer wish to receive such as newsletters or special offers
(iii) Set up a rule to move Group emails into a folder
(iv) Set up a rule to move emails that you are “CC’d” in to a specific folder – call it “CC mail”
If you follow all the above rules your inbox will feel lighter – which is the perfect way to start your new year routine.
With thanks to Marsha Egan – read more about inbox detox here
Another report has been published that shows that workers globally are addicted to their email. No surprise there.
This addiction – which not only causes stress, dents productivity and leaves staff feeling overwhelmed – has been identified in a recent study for the American Psychological Association.
The need for humans to respond immediately to incoming mail (which is heightened with the stimulus of an audible or visual alert) leads to disorganisation, poor prioritisation and unclear communication. Sound familiar?
Interestingly the report found that too that if emails are poorly written, the recipients feel the need to respond even more quickly. This leads to proliferation of copies and unnecessary email exchanges.
The ability to prioritise emails is also adversely affected. Often workers forget to use other ways of communicating such as face to face meetings or telephone calls.
If you recognise any of all of the above behaviours in your teams why not make 2015 the year you finally make a real and effective change.
An Emailogic programme changes the email culture in organisations which suffer from ineffective email practices – in just 90 minutes – and for only £40 per person.
Additional learning resources (videos, quizzes, guidelines and tip sheets) ensure that changed behaviour are maintained and email becomes what it was originally designed for – a simple, quick and productive way of communicating.
At the beginning of this year I wrote a blog entitled the “The Myth of Email culture”
It covered the implicit ‘buy in’ to a myth that email overuse issues – which cause stress, frustration and waste time – are impossible to change and that poor email use should just be accepted as the norm (even within very smart, forward thinking global organisations).
Since that blog was published Emailogic have changed the way that email is used in a wide variety of organisations that have refused to accept “The Myth” that email culture is just the way that it is.
Emailogic clients this year have included law firms, financial organisations, colleges, universities, charities, housing associations, councils and many more – not only in the UK but across the world.
So what have they achieved?
Housing Association saved 45.9 minutes per person every day
City Council saved 40.2 minutes per person every day
National Charity saved 67.2 minutes per person every day
Al these organisations made an investment – yet the return on that investment will mean extra time is released through working smarter, less stress for their staff, increased productivity as well as improved communication and collaboration.
The following are quotes from some Emailogic customers during 2014.
“That was brilliant. I loved it. Fantastic! “ Mark Yovich – President Ticketmaster International
“Best web-based training session I have attended.” Paul Gibson, Project Manager, Hanson UK
“In two hours, I feel liberated! Take control of your email, rather than it controlling you.” Alison Slater, Methodist Homes
If email is overused in your organisation – resolve to change it. It will take just 90 minutes and a small investment.
So when are you going to change the culture of email use in your organisation – 2014, 2015, 2016….or will you just continue to perpetuate the Myth?
There has been lots of research carried out into how to create and maintain successful working relationships when collaborating across distance.
The research shows that managing virtual relationships successfully will give you:
+50% better project success (time and budget)
+93% rise in innovation
+62% rise in role and goal clarity
It also means stronger emotional ties, more commitment and increased motivation.
So getting it right is a complete ‘no brainer’.
There are many factors which contribute to a virtual relationship being a success:
- using virtual tools effectively (Lync , Webex, GoTo, Yammer, Email, IM etc)
- being able to host great virtual meetings
- choosing the best medium for the message
- communicating regularly and at the right times
However the research shows that by far the biggest factor for creating a relationship that works well across distance is creating and maintaining trust.
We will trust people who turn up on time – every time – and who do what they say they will do. Also important to building trust is turning work around on time and communicating effectively in a predictable and reliable manner.
In order to engender trust is it essential to develop an understanding of each other’s values and morals – not only focusing on work but also learning and sharing about our home lives.
‘How to successfully manage virtual relationships’ is a new course fromEmailogic that covers all the key areas for the development of successful, trusting virtual relationships
Here’s what one delegate said after attending:
“I intend to create and agree clear, easy to understand shared goals with my team, have far more regular communication at agreed times. I will also share more about myself and learn more about my colleagues lives and thoughts – I can see my virtual life transforming!”
Contact us if you want to transform yours.
If your company is looking for a solution for web-based meetings and/or training, Emailogic recommends the Citrix GoTo suite of products as our preferred solution. Our facilitators have reviewed most of the other packages available on the market such as Lync, Webex, LiveMeeting, Beamyourscreen but Citrix GoTo always comes out on top.
The benefits of GoTo are as follows:
It is so easy to use – whether you are an experienced virtual communicator or new to this technology – using GoToWebinar intuitive and simple to use for both meeting host and attendee. The way the features work is really simple features and they are designed to support virtual meetings running smoothly and effortlessly.
The GoTo range includes all the features you need whether you are conducting a simple one to one meeting or a training course to 100 people globally. The features include: Hands Up, Instant Messaging, Video Conferencing, Polls, Evaluation and Tests.
In addition you benefit from full post event reporting so you can see who attended, how engaged they were and read any feedback they have given.
Another fabulous feature – which is lacking in most other webinar software tools – is the ability to see whether delegates are engaged in real time. If a delegate is looking at another application a little “warning” triangle comes up by their name. As a host you can then choose to give them a gentle prompt. Very powerful for creating more engagement, particularly with those attendees who like to check their emails during virtual meetings!
The Citrix support team are available 24/7 to resolve any technical issues that you might face and usually these are resolved while you are on the phone to them.
GoTo allows you to share files, HTML links, and other support materials with your audience.
It also allows you to schedule meetings in advance and to record/ upload recordings and share with your audience.
If you would like to speak to us about using Citrix GoTo please feel free to talk to us. We would be delighted to share our knowledge with you.
Fundamental to any good working relationship is trust.
Yet what do you feel when you receive an email that has a read receipt?
And what do you think when you are sent an email and your boss is copied in?
If the feeling you get is a sense of mis-trust then you are not alone.
It takes time and effort to engender trust with a colleague – and it can be lost or undermined with a single email. Often people send these emails and they have no sense of the reaction that is happening at the other end.
There is a word that Psychologists use which is: ‘disinhibition’.
It has been proven that people get ‘disinhibited’ when they communicate virtually – they disassociate themselves from the reaction or reactions that happen at the end of their email.
It is not just with email – you can read in the press any day of the week about the abusive ‘trolling’ that goes on with Twitter and other forms of social media. Frankly, spineless cowards who would not dare to say to someone’s face what they write on the internet.
We regularly hear stories of emails sent in organisations that, at the lower end of the scale, create unnecessary worry and angst. At the opposite end of the scale they leave people in tears and afraid to come in to work.
Email can evoke strong reactions, cause upset, can create embarrassment and waste time.
So the rules are as follows:
Don’t write in an email something that you would not be prepared to say to someone’s face or that you would not want to be:
- produced in court
- printed in the press
- posted on your intranet
- circulated on social media sites
- used in a tribunal or disciplinary
- produced under the data protection act
- shown to your boss or your boss’s boss
- printed and sent out on your organisational headed paper