Thursday, May 1, 2014

Scientists recommend Email quotas on steroids for them Germans

Germans are digitally stressed in the workplace, and we do not mean stress by fingerpointing.

And the Frankfurter Allgemeine online adds to it with an article on email pricing at work. It cannot be a coninkidink that the article appears for Labor Day, May 1st, can it?

Written by Germany's finest - a full professor and a JD candidate - the article first provides some serious numbers.
We quote: "McKinsey Global Institute says that folks in a communication heavy job spend 28 percent of their time to work through their email inbox."

And "55 percent of German employees are reachable by email on holidays".

From there, the two great minds come up with a remedy: emails get assigned a price depending on importance/urgency. Every person in a company can send emails worth a certain amount per month. After that: switch to telephone. Oh, and the price is not real money, although these days even German unions might be on board with that.

Our comments:
1) None of the people behind the studies and polls seem to have worked in the original "always on" culture, the good old US.
2) They probably did not dare to use the term "quota" because that is so 1980s, but it really is nothing but a quota gussied up by bunk economics.
3) This is inside a company, no word on emails from and to the outside world.
4) If employees do not know how to stay away from email at certain times in their lives, they shouldn't be doing that job anyway.
5) People in communications related jobs love to prove they are always on, they think of their inbox in terms of mine is bigger...

Though we do like the pricing idea with a twist: email recipients get paid cold hard cash for each mail they receive, and senders pay the same amount out of their wages for each mail they send.

That will get the inbox overload down in no time.

And remember: You are not important enough to have to check your email all the time. If you are important enough for that -- then you have staff who do that for you.

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