Three quarters of all employees are spending at least half of their day dealing with email, yet virtually no UK companies train their employees in how to use it effectively, according to a report out this week.
The survey, commissioned by email management consultancy, Mesmo, found that 92% of the 130 PAs questioned said that neither they nor their managers had been offered any form of email training.
The figures have highlighted the growing time people are spending on their email, the lack of security and the poor use of email as a communications tool. They also reveal that most people think emails are too long, with 62% stating that the optimum size for an email should be no more than four or five sentences.
Managing partner at Mesmo, Dr Monica Seeley said: "When you combine the survey findings with government and independent surveys which show that each of us wastes at least 45 minutes a day dealing with unwanted email, we are losing around 20 days a year of productive working time. This is an outrageous waste of a company's investment in people and needlessly adds to workplace stress. Training quickly gives back this time and more."
Worryingly, nearly half of respondents said their companies had no EDRM (Electronic Documents and Records Management) policy which defines what emails and documents are kept, by whom and until when. A further 30% did not know if their company had a policy at all. Lack of such policies can lead to serious breaches of confidentiality and security of company data, says Mesmo.
"Many users do not understand how insecure an email is and that inappropriate comment in an email can be regarded as defamatory," added Seeley.