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Survey Says Business Professionals Spend Nearly Two Hours Daily on E-mail

MENLO PARK, CA --Do you find yourself working longer hours lately? It could be due to the amount of time devoted each day to e-mail, a new survey suggests. In the poll, executives said they spend an average of 108 minutes daily reading and sending e-mail messages.

The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest temporary staffing service for accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 150 executives with the nation's 1,000 largest companies.

Executives were asked: "On average, how many minutes do you spend each day at work reading and sending e-mail messages?" The mean response was 108 minutes.

"The speed and simplicity of electronic messaging make it a preferred method of communication in many business situations," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies® (Hungry Minds, Inc., formerly IDG Books Worldwide). But, Messmer adds, "E-mail is among many technologies that are increasing the pace of business and creating expectations for faster turnaround -- ironically, the very tools designed to save time might actually be adding to the number of hours we spend working."

To reduce time spent reading and sending e-mail, Messmer offers the following guidelines:

  • Organize incoming e-mail into folders that are labeled for easy retrieval; don't leave old messages in your inbox.
  • Keep your writing clear and concise. If your message is too complicated for a brief e-mail, consider another form of communication.
  • Resist the temptation to read each new e-mail as it arrives. Instead, read and respond to messages several times throughout the day.

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