Email Duration, Batching and Self-interruption: Patterns of Email Use on Productivity and Stress

Resource Author:  Gloria Mark, Shamsi T. Iqbal, Mary Czerwinski, Paul Johns, Akane Sano
Resource Date:  05/07/2016
Resource Name:  Proceedings of ACM CHI 2016, ACM Press
URL:   Link to Source Article or Site

Our findings show that some patterns of email use are associated with lower perceived productivity and higher stress. The longer daily duration spent on email, the lower the assessed productivity and the higher the stress. With high email use, people who chose when to self-interrupt to deal with email, and “Batchers”, people who cluster email use, assessed their productivity higher at the end of the day compared to those who check email triggered by email notifications, and to those who check email consistently. To our knowledge, our study is the first in situ multi-method investigation of email activity, workplace outcomes and stress. Our results lay ground for future theoretical exploration of these effects, and provide valuable practical lessons for organizations and knowledge workers.