Culture and email

31/1/2013 |





For Think Productive UK founder Graham Allcott, January has been a month of “email Friday” – only checking his inbox once a week. 

As well as reducing his distractions, Graham also found another interesting side effect of this experiment

(Find out more about Graham’s 2013 experiments here)


During my Email Friday experiment, something quite remarkable happened.

People I know stopped emailing me.  Some called me, some waited and emailed me the same stuff on the Thursday or Friday, some dealt with Elena and Chaz in the office and I was liberated from being ‘in the loop’ (usually unnecessarily!) and some took ownership of the issue and just got on with things (which as a business owner in the midst of expansions, is a godsend!).

Each Friday, I would open up my email inbox.  For the first couple of weeks, the volume was increasing – mainly because lots of people were returning to work after Christmas breaks.  Then in weeks three and four the volume actually dropped.  By about 20%.

Nothing stopped getting done, nothing really changed.  But the instincts of the team led everyone to trim the fat, cut out the unnecessary which always creeps in unnoticed and take more decisive action.

Often our focus around email is on ‘personal survival’ and dealing with the volume.  However, as organisations and cultures, we get the email we deserve.

So talk to your team about your collective email habits today.

It’ll be an unexpected conversation, but you have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Good luck!


Like this? Try these

 Need some help? Sign up to one of our email training workshops 

Read all of Graham’s Experimentation blog posts

Bill Gates: ‘I only get 40 or 50 emails a day –

Leave a Comment