Unnecessary emails are the bane of the modern office with seven out of 10 workers complaining about being sent irrelevant emails or being copied on emails of no interest. This is according to the findings of new research released by CRM provider Salesforce, conducted by MR agency OnePoll, which polled 1,000 workers from a range of UK businesses.
The study found that many office workers are running the risk of being overwhelmed by a data deluge. Over a third (38 per cent) of respondents said they now suffer from information overload at work, and the trends suggest that this is set to get worse.
"The habit of 'blasting' out emails to a large group of people to ensure that there is no chance of leaving anyone out of a particular message has created a situation where email is now becoming counter-productive," said Tim Barker, vice president EMEA strategy for Salesforce.
"Office workers are now facing the choice of trawling through countless emails that have nothing to do with them or ignoring them and potentially missing out on vital messages."
At the same time, the research shows that social media is on the rise in the workplace, with nearly half of workers (46 per cent) using social media at work every day. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is being shepherded in by the younger generation, with that figure jumping to 56 per cent for those in their early twenties and two thirds for those just entering the job market.
However, the younger generation of office workers are not just using social media for social engagement but as a useful business collaboration tool. Around three quarters (74 per cent) of respondents under 35 said they get some business benefit from the information they get from social media, while only about half (52 per cent) of those 35 and older feel the same way.
According to Salesforce, the findings illustrate the 'consumerisation' of corporate IT. The skyrocketing adoption of social media by today's workforce has shown that new communication models are emerging and should not be ignored by businesses. The research was conducted to highlight the growing relevance of Chatter, the CRM brands social media tool.
Chen Kotecha, managing director of Blackberry reseller and Salesforce customer Scancom, comments on the findings, "If our employees are going to cope with the growing volumes of information produced on a daily basis, we need to adopt a completely new approach to business collaboration, making sure people can get access to the information they need, when they need it.
He continues, "Salesforce Chatter provides an intuitive app for our employees to communicate with their colleagues in real-time. The opt-in nature of Chatter means that workers can get the relevant information they need in a clear and intuitive way. Updates are delivered whenever and wherever they are. These factors allow our users to embrace the evolving workplace and shape it in a way that improves collaboration amongst workers of all ages, genders and levels."