Some major corporations, including Intel and Deloitte & Touche, are apparently spearheading a 'no email Friday' concept in order to crack down on non-essential messages, boost productivity and encourage better face-to-face communications between employees. It appears that some companies are even using the carrot and stick approach, well stick mainly, by imposing small fines or naming and shaming those members of staff who violate the no email rule.
The phrase 'cutting off one's nose to spite one's face' comes to mind here. This is not like dress down Friday where casual clothing fosters a more social attitude amongst employees and as a result helps productivity (in theory at least) but is more akin to suggesting that in order to get more work done staff should do less work.
Alan Elliot, senior director of business development at email specialist Mirapoint, takes over the argument:
"Depicting email as some kind of resource-draining monster that we'd all be better off without is not only counter-productive, but willfully ignores the realities of the modern business world. Instead of bringing email to a grinding halt at the end of the week - which of course just means that most of Monday is wasted catching up - companies need to educate their staff on the appropriate use and management of email. Yes, email can induce stress if recipients are cc'ed on chains of unnecessary messages or if it is used as a substitute for instant messaging - but if effective usage policies are in place, rather than being a threat to productivity, email is one of the great business innovations of the online age. Why would any sensible company even consider restricting its use in this way?"