On Friday, 26th November 2010 it is the European ‘No E-mail Friday’. People and companies are requested not to send that day any (or as few as possible) e-mails. Those who need to read e-mails are encouraged to answer as much as possible by phone or face to face. After two successful editions in Belgium and the Netherlands the No E-mail Friday initiative is now going European. “The losses caused by problematic e-mail usage worldwide are huge. Companies and countries that counter the problem in a judicious way, have a competive edge”, says Gunnar Michielsen, initiator of the European edition of No E-mail Friday.
While the two previous editions of No E-mail- Friday were organised in the Netherlands and Belgium only, some foreign media picked up the initiative spontaneously. Besides the Dutch and French websites (Www.emaillozevrijdag.be, www.vendredisansemail.eu) there is now also an English version (www.noemailfriday.org). E-mail is a bordercrossing phenomenon. As a result an international approach is quite obvious.
Email tsunami growing further
More and more research shows that the productivity of companies and people is severely undermined by the e-mail overload. The research company Basex calculated that reducing the number of professional mails with 10% could generate 180 billion US dollars per annum for the U.S. economy.
Unfortunately, worldwide more e-mails are being written and sent. A study by the Radacati Group predicts that the daily number of emails sent by the end of 2012 will have doubled from 210 to over 400 billion.
Software developments see market opportunities and are developing tools to help users to manage and archive massive incoming e-mail more efficiently. Besides various programmes for Outlook, Google launched a few months ago Google Priority Inbox, a programme that helps to rank e-mail in terms of relevancy.
"Interesting initiatives, though they tend to become time-wasters", says Gunnar Michielssen. "The only solution is to send and receive fewer emails. E-mail is very useful for simple, non-urgent messages and questions. We started with No E-mail Friday in order to convince people that email is not a miracle tool and that other means of communication are often faster and more efficient. "