Almost a necessity for communication, email consumes significant portions of knowledge workers’ time in today’s organizations. Though issues such as spam, filtering, and archiving have received much attention from industry and academia, the critical problem of the timing of email processing has not been studied much. It is common for many knowledge workers to check and respond to their emails almost continuously. Though some emails may require very quick responses, continuous email checking may lead to workplace interruptions and overload. This study presents a framework for studying email response timing approaches to minimize the communication times and yet reduce the interruptive effects. A rigorous analysis of the effective and efficient email processing policies, in a series of two-phase simulated virtual experiments, is performed by comparing various ways to reduce interruptions for various work settings. Findings suggest that managing email processing can make a significant difference in workplace productivity.
Gupta, Ashish; Sharda, Ramesh; and Greve, Robert A., "Overcoming Email Addiction: Understanding the 'Leave Me Alone!' Approach" (2009). AMCIS 2009 Proceedings. 128.