How to Significantly Reduce Emails in Your Business

Learn How You Can Reduce Emails. We Discuss Findings From the Harvard Business Review

The Harvard Business Review reported about a team that had achieved a significant reduction in emails in this article. Their findings were welcomed by all those people suffering from email overload.

But what were the highlights and what can your company do?

Highlights of What the Team Achieved:

  • Within 3 months, the team’s emails had reduced by -54%.
  • The email reduction from the other 73 reports was -64%.
  • Productivity increased by +7% throughout the business.

Highlights of What the Team Did:

  • Approached emails like a lean manufacturing business.
  • Understood that they were sending 56 emails per day.
  • Aimed for a reduction of -20% within 4 months.
  • Received weekly reports on how many emails sent.

What Can Your Company Do to Reduce Emails?

There are 7 steps to significantly reducing emails within your business. This is a practical solution using the tech available to you. Note, this solution only works if your company uses Microsoft 365.

Step 1: Awareness

Share with people in the business a way that they can see how many emails they send each month. This is a starting point for them to realise how many they send. They will compare this to each other. They’ll make excuses for why they are higher than others, and then the magic happens.

Each employee simply goes to Microsoft Analytics: https://myanalytics.microsoft.com/?v=collaboration and signs in. There they can see their Microsoft analytics. This shows how many emails they sent in the last 4 weeks.

Step 2: The Calculation

In the case of the person below, they sent 555 emails in the last 4 weeks. Encourage your employees to divide by 20 (Average working days per month). This means that this user sent 28 per day. Dividing this by an average 9 hour day is 3 per hour, or one every 20-minutes.

A green and blue Microsoft Analytics graph titled Communication habits

Use Microsoft Analytics to see how many emails you read and sent over the past month.

Plus, encourage them to be aware of this fact which is also shown in analytics. How quickly they look at each email when it arrives. This will help them to be aware of how ‘attached’ to their inbox, they really are.

An email logo with two person images titled Distracted by email

Is your productivity interrupted by the constant need to read them immediately?

Step 3: Setting the Target

Agree on a percentage reduction you wish to make as a business. Make this public. Create a SharePoint file and ask everyone to add their number of emails, and then let the file calculate the reduction needed for them. Post progress weekly showing those that achieved their targets. Train people how to improve.

The best of luck!


For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Time Management Skills and our Time Management Skills YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Time Management Skills Tips and articles.

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