Placing People Professionally

Email Sins & Phantom Phone Alerts

12 February 2014

Before you hit send … stop and think - am I committing a sin?

According to new research there are 7 deadly sins staff are guilty of, and by failing to follow email etiquette the mental health of the sender and recipient is being damaged.

A research team studied 28 email accounts to see which messages raised workers’ stress levels,  and from this they identified 7 sins that tend to lead to negative and harmful feelings.

According to their findings the 7 sins are:

1. Ping pong emailing or emailing back and forth rapidly

2. Emailing out of hours

3. Emailing while in company

4. Ignoring emails completely

5. Requesting read receipts

6. Responding immediately to an email

7. Automated replies and rules

An occupational psychologist stated the study showed that while people think they are using adaptive and functional strategies for dealing with work emails many of these can be detrimental.

Back in the dial-up era, when going online had cost implications; most people checked email once a day and often responded as soon as they read them. Now, with broadband and 3G, unlimited numbers of messages can be streamed through smartphones at any time of the day or night. However many of us haven't adapted our behaviour.

This puts huge pressure on staff to be permanently on call, and makes those they are dealing with feel the need to respond. Some workers became so obsessed by email that they even reported experiencing so-called phantom alerts where they think their phone has vibrated or bleeped with an incoming email when in fact it has not. Others said they felt they needed to physically hold their smartphone when they were not at their desk so that they were in constant email contact.

Source - HCA