The great holiday email deletion experiment

The great holiday email deletion experiment 

 

Did you worry about your email mountain when you got back to work or worse while your were away?

The assumption being: you need to go through and respond or absorb everything from the time you were not meant to be available.

Then there’s the cost to your business: you’re lack of true down time due to thinking about that email mountain impacts on your ability to be productive on return.

Let’s face it, no one’s been on a proper holiday since the advent of email in 1932 (Date might not be accurate)

And then the first day back when you’re almost slightly refreshed, any of that remaining holiday magic is undone by an email tsunami.

 

What if there wasn’t even an email mountain to return to? Would it hurt a business?

 

We decided to join the growing digital tyranny rebellion by using Dave’s holiday as a way to test a new policy.  

So we needed something subtle and diplomatic on his responder:

“You email has been deleted.” So far so good right?

Screen Shot 2018-09-18 at 18.06.34

The “What if” problem 

 

How much would we offend the good people who were contacting him during this time? Would we miss vital operational or production matters?

And how much strain would it put on colleagues who would be forced to deal with queries and possibly anger?

In short, do we worry too much and not having a holiday?

And when we get back shouldn’t we take the time back and put it to more productive things like… making vlogs about deleting emails while on holiday?

 

Here’s our findings:

 

Out of 789 emails over 14 days:

1 needed urgent assistance and I was contacted via Ed while away

2 got in touch with Dave on his return

4 got in touch with Ed

0 people were offended – or at least zero people said they were offended.

We might have offended literally everyone but without evidence we’re going with zero.

Conclusion: Less than 1% of emails needed an immediate response.

That’s not enough to put pressure on colleagues in the business and certainly not enough to lose a day of productivity and stress over.

 

But we’re a serious business! 

You might be thinking that’s all very well for you Mr Business Film Booth but we have a proper business and we can’t just delete emails willy nilly.

Well, the first signs of rebellion actually go back to 2014 when a proper company, Daimler, adopted the unique policy.

Daimler spokesman Oliver Wihofszki said ‘holiday envy has been replaced by corporate email policy envy’

Apparently, people receiving such a notification rarely get angry. “The response is basically 99% positive, because everybody says, ‘That’s a real nice thing, I would love to have that too,'” Wihofszki added. 

Their research in conjunction with psychologists from the University of Heidelberg concluded in a raft a productivity gains from things like setting aside time when there could be no meetings allowing staff to concentrate on their work uninterrupted.

They would now routinely delete the emails of staff on holidays as part of this productivity drive.

Their policy followed Volkswagon’s decision to turn off email after hours and new guidelines in France that gives employees a ‘right to disconnect’

 

What next? 

 

We recommend you find a more diplomatic email responder than Dave’s and delete your entire holiday email mountain for future holidays.

If enough of us do this, it might even become normal.

So why not give yourself a real holiday next year and delete all your emails.

The great holiday email deletion experiment 

 

Did you worry about your email mountain when you got back to work or worse while your were away?

The assumption being: you need to go through and respond or absorb everything from the time you were not meant to be available.

Then there’s the cost to your business: you’re lack of true down time due to thinking about that email mountain impacts on your ability to be productive on return.

Let’s face it, no one’s been on a proper holiday since the advent of email in 1932 (Date might not be accurate)

And then the first day back when you’re almost slightly refreshed, any of that remaining holiday magic is undone by an email tsunami.

 

What if there wasn’t even an email mountain to return to? Would it hurt a business?

 

We decided to join the growing digital tyranny rebellion by using Dave’s holiday as a way to test a new policy.  

So we needed something subtle and diplomatic on his responder:

“You email has been deleted.” So far so good right?

Screen Shot 2018-09-18 at 18.06.34

 

The “What if” problem 

 

How much would we offend the good people who were contacting him during this time? Would we miss vital operational or production matters?

And how much strain would it put on colleagues who would be forced to deal with queries and possibly anger?

In short, do we worry too much and not having a holiday?

And when we get back shouldn’t we take the time back and put it to more productive things like… making vlogs about deleting emails while on holiday?

 

Here’s our findings:

 

Out of 789 emails over 14 days:

1 needed urgent assistance and I was contacted via Ed while away

2 got in touch with Dave on his return

4 got in touch with Ed

0 people were offended – or at least zero people said they were offended.

We might have offended literally everyone but without evidence we’re going with zero.

Conclusion: Less than 1% of emails needed an immediate response.

That’s not enough to put pressure on colleagues in the business and certainly not enough to lose a day of productivity and stress over.

 

But we’re a serious business! 

You might be thinking that’s all very well for you Mr Business Film Booth but we have a proper business and we can’t just delete emails willy nilly.

Well, the first signs of rebellion actually go back to 2014 when a proper company, Daimler, adopted the unique policy.

Daimler spokesman Oliver Wihofszki said ‘holiday envy has been replaced by corporate email policy envy’

Apparently, people receiving such a notification rarely get angry. “The response is basically 99% positive, because everybody says, ‘That’s a real nice thing, I would love to have that too,'” Wihofszki added. 

Their research in conjunction with psychologists from the University of Heidelberg concluded in a raft a productivity gains from things like setting aside time when there could be no meetings allowing staff to concentrate on their work uninterrupted.

They would now routinely delete the emails of staff on holidays as part of this productivity drive.

Their policy followed Volkswagon’s decision to turn off email after hours and new guidelines in France that gives employees a ‘right to disconnect’

 

What next? 

 

We recommend you find a more diplomatic email responder than Dave’s and delete your entire holiday email mountain for future holidays.

If enough of us do this, it might even become normal.

So why not give yourself a real holiday next year and delete all your emails.

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