Researchers at the University of Sussex stated that while banning staff from accessing their work email could help some staff switch off, it could also stop people (from) achieving work goals (thereby) causing stress (as published in the Journal Computers in Human Behaviour).
They noted that positive or negative impact has to do with a worker’s personality as well as their goals when the approach work-mail.
It is worthy to note that using our emails on and off working hours can be bad for our mental health especially when it begins to affect our ability to get quality rest.
It is also important to note that “pumping ideas into a refreshed system would always work better than pumping ideas into an exhausted and or overstretched system”. We are more productive when we are well-rested.
With this in mind, at what point do we switch off and is there actually a need to switch off?
In their post, the shocking truth about how many emails are sent– CampaignMonitor.com (March/May 2019) stated that as of 2018, 124.5 billion business emails were sent and received each day. Furthermore, according to Statista; about 293.6 billion emails are sent every day in 2019.
This is an interesting statistics considering emails are a powerful platform for marketing especially when considering Return on Investments (ROI) – of about 44x- that is, $44 for every $1 investment in Email Marketing Campaigns- This is according to Capterra, as against 32x in ROI as reported by Oberlo in 2018. Again, you can imagine the projections for 2020.
By 2023, email users are expected to have grown from 3.8 billion in 2018 to 4.4 billion in 2023 according to Statista.
We can then appreciate why people also want to respond to emails as quickly as they come- to avoid the anxiety that can build up from knowing a significant percentage of those emails are coming to their inbox. Significant in the sense that (especially as business people), close to a 100 mails could quickly fill up an average inbox.
However, accessing your work mail when you, on your own, decided to take some time off work to get quality rest- either by spending time with a special someone or family or trying to get some sleep, defeats that very purpose.
Businesses count on emails for every service that they offer, even beyond social media, as they’re the best direct response marketing approach currently available. And because email has been around for so long, we can again, appreciate its importance.
This backdrop was necessary to give, in the sense that, it sets the tone for why wellness and our wellbeing must be included in email marketing and emails in general.
Remember, people do business and enjoy hosting conversations with people they feel at home with. Emails allow people to increase awareness about their brands and offer new products and services to customers.
Emails done right increases communication between the sender and the receiver.
From my personal experience; a great email is good for both the sender’s wellbeing as well as that of the receiver. Wellbeing in this context means a state of satisfaction, peace, and happiness.
According to Statista, 55% of all emails are spam emails- that’s about 150+ billion emails per day unnecessarily occupying space in the receivers box.
You can manage how many people feel violated (including how we mismanage people’s email ID) on a daily basis and how this affects our overall wellbeing.
To merge emails and wellbeing- here are a few pointers to note. The essence of these pointers are what determine how our Wellbeing is affected when we open that email, and whether or not we should open the emails.
- Start Well, Start Right.
A lot of mails are lost in translation and this is not healthy for anyone. We must know the difference between casual emails and formal emails.
For instance, sending Hi and waiting for the receiver to respond Hello before going to the purpose of why you’re mailing the person is plain unethical, a waste of productive time and therefore could alter the mood of the receiver and even the sender when as in most cases, he/she doesn’t get a response.
To this end, always know why you want to send and or respond to an email and then structure the email accordingly.
- Is there a better option?
While it is still disrespectful to just DM someone on social media (especially from a professional standpoint) Hi and be waiting for Hello, we must put into context the best platform to pass our messages across.
Consider if the message is something you should text or even call. There is no reason mailing information you can physically communicate to someone or through a call. Remember, the less the email, the easier it becomes for you to switch off.
- Your Subject line should relate with the content of your message
A research by Aweber, showed that 82% of experts (1000 emails from 100 top marketers) send emails with a subject line of about 60 characters or less, with an average of 43.85 characters.
Another research showed that 35% of people (in a research group) decide whether or not to open the email they receive based upon the subject line.
Considering the number of emails going out each day and the number of emails people receive daily; most people do not have the luxury of time beyond the subject line of the mail to decide whether or not it is something that fits their area of interest. It is also important to remember the number of spam emails that go out daily.
Always ensure that your subject line is brief (as most people use their phones to check their emails) and a well-captured summary of the content of your message.
Never leave the subject line empty. It is stressfully time-wasting. Imagine you open such emails only to find out that it has nothing to do with you.
- Personalize the mail
Ensure the mail has in it your identity and introduces your brand; stating the mission and vision for why the email was written. If you have supporting documents- this is the best time to include them.
Focus only on reasons why you are writing the mail (using mail etiquettes) and don’t overstretch the mail. Also, take advantage of emailing platforms for structure guidance.
Always use the blank space principle when sending an email to ensure a neat presentation of your points. Long mails in long paragraphs are stressful to read.
Unless when necessary, do not forward an email you composed for person A for person B– the mail subject will tell on you and it losses it’s personal touch.
- Know the difference
- Know the difference between (carbon copy) CC and (blind carbon copy) BCC and when and where to use then. A structured establishment will always sue you if you miss this, and missing this could cause a major mental health meltdown for the parties involved.
- Know the difference between reply and reply-all. If your reply does not concern those that were copied to the email, please, reply only to the person that it concerns.
- Know the difference between a well-prepared mail and an email sent on impulse. The difference is that an email sent on impulse is that mail where you remember you should have added another line and or attach one more file and then you start sending follow up emails.
Sending five mails of one message in bits of “anyhowness” does not do anything to contribute to the wellbeing of the receiver. Instead of sending updating mails, take your time to properly build your content before sending.
- Switch off
While productivity is essentially important to our growth- growing at a minimum level, while building unhealthy habits is counterproductive to the immediate above.
Rest helps us grow at optimal levels while protecting our health. The best policy to this is, therefore, to know and understand ourselves and then decide structures that work best for us while looking at the narrative holistically. This is because when it comes to personal wellbeing; there is no one size fits all.
- One of the ways to help facilitate switching off is actually just doing that- switching off.
- Switch off your notification during periods you’ve structured for rest.
- Delete your mobile mail app, so you can only access your mail from your computer, or vice versa.
- Stop subscribing to everything that looks good online and only choose things beneficial to you.
- When choosing things that are beneficial to you, only select the ones you will actually be opening. Stop deceiving yourself.
- Only send emails when face to face meetings and phone calls are not your best options. Remember, the less the mail, the easier it is to switch off. Even the atmosphere will thank you for this!
Every mail sent and or received should carry and convey impact. It should be valuable to all parties involved.
As we stated earlier in a different language, the more the value, the more the bound will be and the more the wellness of both parties.
Anything else and we would call it Spam mail- 150+ billion of it.
At this point, your guess is as good as mine– we should all switch off at the point when our work begins to affect our lives.
There is no health without mental health (WHO), and our wellbeing is a strong component of our mental health.
Be honest with yourself; don’t be afraid to quit– quitting unhealthy emailing habits.