David Burkus begins his new book, “Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as Usual” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016), with an 11 page chapter commanding companies to “Outlaw Email.” Choosing #noemail as an opening chapter says a lot about the need for communication reform with in companies. But the content is even more compelling.
Burkus isn’t just railing about the evils of email, the delays, the time sinks, the spam, the miscommunication, the stylistic misuse, the passive-aggressive tendencies that email cultivates, or how email creeps into every minute of your life shackling your company’s productivity. Burkus presents proof that you can outlaw email and improve your company’s performance.
Beginning with a reference to the no email policies of Atos SE and ending with the no email on weekends or after hours at Daimler, Burkus fills in the middle with recent research that shows the cost of email and the benefits of using other more effective forms of communications from UC-Irvine and US Army as well as a survey on emotional effects by Marcus Butts and his colleagues.
In short, very good review of the most recent practice and research told well.
Burkus, himself, tells the story more briefly in the most recent Harvard Business Review as “Some Companies Are Banning Email and Getting More Done” (June 8, 2016).
“Clearing out your email inbox can make you feel like you’re ultra-productive, but unless your job description is solely to delete emails, you’re likely just fooling yourself.”