Working from home means a lot more emails and meetings than before. While in the office people were able to talk different things and solve all sorts of problems, working remote needs a lor more communication, explains Adrian Dinca, HR Director EMEA at Vertiv at Business Review’s #futureofwork – Working Romania HR Conference.
So, are emails a trap that can keep us less productive?
”Yes, I am sure it is definitely a trap. That is why at Vertiv we started to implement various solutions. Studies in psychology have already begun to talk about a new phobia, in addition to social and other kinds, namely the phobia of emails, the constant need of reaching zero unread emails. The constant need to solve them, the satisfaction that comes from being in Unread, I did something and it became Read. There have been a lot of discussions about the fact that we are employed and our job has a purpose, a goal we aim for, but we do not reach it because we often get caught in emails and need to answer many questions,” says Dinca.
Challenged with so many small tasks, employees are having trouble distinguishing between important things and jobs that can be done one day later. ”I saw a study that shows that we spend three to four hours a day responding to emails and on average we get about 100-120 emails a day that we take care of. I believe that at the organizational level we should focus on creating at least an educational program through which people become aware and find solutions to better manage emails. There are all sorts of tips on how to be more effective, on how to disable notifications that appear and distract you from everyday activities,” says Adrian Dinca.
What solutions do we have to help employees? ”If I were to think of a program that would bring the highest productivity in a company it would be a 1-2 hour training that would be repeated every six months, through which employees would be taught how to manage this situation and to understand psychologically what is behind when they receive emails and notifications,” says Vertiv representative.
”And it’s not just the emails, it’s the meetings that take up the rest of our time. They are practically from the same category. The corporate people world spends a lot of time talking, trying to solve things, but we don’t always keep the meetings in the most efficient way. We are all involved in meetings that do not have a well-defined goal at the beginning and it does not end with a decision on what we will do next. Or things that can be resolved in a 10-15 minute session can lead to 1-2 hour discussions. Very few people know how to handle such a situation, how to say no to a meeting, how to make counter-offers.”
Long meetings are just another thing that generates a very high load on employees. And in the last year it has increased even more after people started to work from home. ”Many interactions that took place at the office or in the hallways turned into emails and meetings. I found that available in many corporations. We did a study in Vertiv and I found that our number of emails and meeting hours also increased. We must learn to address them consciously in organizations and we can gain enormously in productivity,” concludes Adrian Dinca.