Stop the spam

E-mail management is not only about technology tools, said Maurene Caplan Grey, senior research analyst with Gartner Inc. It's also a matter of individual employees using their time at the keyboard more effectively to cut out internal e-mail "spam," according to a recent survey.

A surprising result of the survey, which Grey said probably also applies to government, is that employees waste as much as one-third of their time dealing with unnecessary e-mail messages.

"E-mail is now ubiquitous and common, and this makes it easy for people both inside and outside the organization to communicate with it," she said. "Unfortunately, much of what employees send to their co-workers is not necessary. And this kind of occupational spam is particularly insidious because there's not a filter in the world that can filter this kind of e-mail."

It's an issue of changing the e-mailing culture inside organizations, Grey said, which requires the imposition of formal "e-mail productivity" strategies.

"Everyone knows there is an e-mail [volume] problem," she said. "Unfortunately, very few organizations are doing anything about it."

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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