The average UK worker now spends 288 hours, equivalent to 36 working days of the year, writing emails according to new study from O2 Business. Research has found that over a third of employees feel ‘overwhelmed’ by their inboxes, sending on average 4,118 emails a year and receiving 6,225.
Despite over half (56%) believing that calling is more effective, the study into workplace communication revealed that the UK is becoming increasingly over-reliant on email with nearly two thirds (59%) of workers using this form of correspondence more than any other.
The results mark the launch of O2 Just Call Me, a new conference calling solution designed to offer businesses a simple and cost effective communication tool. The exclusive service turns a mobile number into a conference bridge, removing the need for lengthy and complex dial in details and hidden premium rate charges.
Over half (52%) of UK workers found conference calls to be more personal, and one third (32%) felt they helped them manage their time more efficiently. But conference calls are often not widely used in the workplace with the main reasons cited as noisy environments (24%), and difficulty with scheduling calls in diaries (19%).
Furthermore, over a third (38%) of respondents believe it is easier to get a point across during a conference call, whereas nearly two thirds (58%) of workers worry that the content of their emails will be misconstrued.
Looking at office communication as a whole, the top ‘pet peeves’ include:
•Four in ten (44%) feel they are pulled in to face to face meetings when a phone call would have covered the issue
•Seven out of ten (66%) find face to face meetings valuable, but difficult to arrange
•49% feel pressure to respond to work emails straight away
•A third (30%) have instant message systems in their workplace, however they are not widely used, with 29% finding them distracting
Paul Lawton, General Manager of SMB for O2 Business said: “Our research shows that there’s often a reluctance amongst UK workers to pick up the phone even though it might be a better option. With O2 Just Call Me we’ve made conference calling as easy as it can be – a simple, hassle free solution that does away with confusing dial in details and hidden call charges. O2 Just Call Me forms part of our recently launched business apps portfolio, giving our customers a great range of communication tools so they can work smarter and more effectively.”
O2 Just Call Me provides a simple, cost-effective and hassle free alternative to email overload. The app can host a call for up to 20 participants, with no PIN codes and no premium rate dial-in numbers. Participants do not need to have the app installed themselves and to join a call they just need to dial the host’s mobile number as normal. The host of the call can then accept or decline the participant. Available exclusively to O2 Business customers for just £5/month (ex VAT), the host can also plan, organize and schedule their calls directly from the app as well as control multiple conferences at the same time.
Out of all office based professions, lawyers are most likely to suffer from overloaded inboxes, receiving on average 10,357 emails a year. In comparison, those in social care are the chattiest, and most likely to pick up the phone.
Regionally, workers in the South West receive the most emails a day at 48, compared to those in Scotland who receive an average of 16. (A full regional breakdown can be found below)