Boss Who Wants to Ban Email Is Unplugged From Reality

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keyboardHere at The Stir, we use email. A lot. So much so that if, God forbid, anything were ever to happen to our email system, we wouldn't be able to work. (Okay, if email and Instant Messenger were out). And although I often find myself missing the days of hearing actual laughing out loud, and seeing a living, breathing smiley face instead of an emoticon, I get it. It's the 21st century and that's just how it is. Email, for as impersonal as it may be, makes everything more efficient.

Which is why it's off-the-wall insane for the CEO of a tech company to ban email in the office.

Thierry Breton, head of the French company Atos Origin, is sick and tired of not speaking with his co-workers face-to-face, and has plans to do away with interoffice email completely within the next two years. Here's what he had to say about his decision:

We are producing data on a massive scale that is fast polluting our working environments and also encroaching into our personal lives. At Atos Origin we are taking action now to reverse this trend. If people want to talk to me, they can come and visit me, call, or send me a text message. Emails cannot replace the spoken word.

I mean, I get it. And I like his style, dig where he's coming from, etc. But how can the CEO of a tech company ban email in the office? Sure, the world might be nicer and more personal without email, but everything will also take twice, three times as long. It just doesn't make sense for business efficiency. I feel like if Breton wants to limit the amount of email in the world, he should just stop sending and receiving personal emails, not business-related ones. Getting rid of office email is an idea that needs to be deleted. Or at least marked as spam.

Do you think banning office email is a good idea?

 

Image via dan taylor/Flickr

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nonmember avatar Adam

As crazy as it sounds, I agree with him. Apart from his reasoning, there are others that I can add to the list: 1) I can easily spend a ridiculous amount of time checking, responding to, and re-responding to emails while not getting ANY actual work done, which can severly hurt the perception of my productivity, 2) the insanity of email chains, "cute" pictures/videos, Forwards, Reply-to-All's, particularly the ones that are sent to me yet do not in anyway pertain to me at all, can be a burden on my time & productivity. I could go on, but I'll just stop here and say that I agree with him despite however big a nightmare it may seem to actually follow through with.

Jessy Roos

This guy is my new hero. I think you might have misunderstood his central point which was that office email is a time suck and often not useful. His comment about the volume of data being created was referring to the sheer number of emails being written each and everyday. He goes on in his statement to say "Breton estimates that only 10% of the 200 messages his employees receive on an average day are useful, and that 18% is spam. Managers spend between 5 and 20 hours a week reading and writing e-mails.". 5-20 hours a week, just writing and responding to emails?? That's up to 1/2 a work week!

When he says nothing can replace the spoken word I believe he may have been speaking not just to the importance of real interaction but also of how efficient communication can be when you can sort out a whole issue in person without need for interpretation or spell check.

All of this is important, and just imagine how wonderful life would be for those people that don't get to leave work behind because they have smart phones that constantly ding, reminding them they've received yet another email!

I'm all for banning office email.

nonmember avatar HS

I love it!! I have to do a lot of troubleshooting in my job and questions almost always come to me in an email. But a lot of the ppl I work with are computer illiterate and my emailed response usually confuses them more because they don't understand any of the terminology no matter how much I dumb it down. So I eventually either call them or just go to their office if they're in the same building. Email, in my case, can be so frustrating and worsen the situation.

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