An organizational and business intelligence tool
- Many employees use email for more than just communicating. Well over half (58%) use it as a means of storing and retrieving information.
- Nearly two-thirds (62%) of respondents use specific folders to organize their email for easier access, and 29% of employees archive their email.
- The oldest saved email by a survey respondent was received back in 1994.
- Less than one-quarter (24%) of SMB employees said they use their email as a business intelligence tool, identifying a massive missed opportunity to extract value from email data.
- Employees in the Southwest are the quickest to respond to email, with 42% replying within 15 minutes of an email arriving. Only 27% of residents in the Midwest respond as quickly.
- Residents of the Southwest are most likely to have checked their email while they or their spouse was in labor (14%). Just 3% of employees in the Northeast have done so.
- Professionals who say they have checked email at a funeral are more likely to work in IT and telecommunications (14%) and finance (13%). People working in sales, media and marketing and health care said they have never checked email at a funeral.
- Legal (38%), IT and telecommunications (32%), and manufacturing (34%) professionals are more likely to respond to emails within 15 minutes. Professionals who think that responding to an email within one working day is sufficient are more apt to work in education (23%), retail, catering and leisure (20%) and arts and culture (20%).
- Employees at larger companies are more likely to check email during off hours. Two-thirds (66%) of respondents who work at companies with fewer than 10 employees check email outside of regular work hours, while 75% of those who work at large companies said the same.
- During vacations, 74% of sales, media and marketing professionals said they check their email. In contrast, less than half (46%) of manufacturing and utilities employees do so.
- Workers overpoweringly appreciate the value of email, despite its omnipresence in daily life.
Ninety percent of respondents said email is a “blessing,” with just one in ten (10%) considering it a “curse.” Regardless of all the stresses and strains that a deluge of email can bring, it is still preferred to the way we used to work.
Differences among regions and professions
Overwhelmingly, email is viewed positively, not negatively
“The research also revealed some worrying trends, including that many organizations are failing to efficiently use their collected email archives for customer relationship management and other business intelligence functions, and that many users are putting their email at risk by maintaining unnecessarily large Outlook PST repositories in order to use their inbox as a living database,” said Bousfield. “This is inefficient and puts the organization at risk of substantial data loss from email archive corruption.”