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Workers face up to a life without email

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By John Glenday, Reporter

November 29, 2011 | 2 min read

The scourge of the junk office email could be a thing of the past for a select group of workers after Atos, one of Europe’s largest IT firms, was seeking an outright ban on such communications within 18 months.

Thierry Breton, chief executive of the firm, believes emails to be largely a waste of time with only 10% of the average 200 messages received by each of his 74,000 employees per day thought to be of any importance.

According to Breton staff spend between 5 and 20 hours per week to handle this volume of emails – prompting him to pursue a more dynamic instant messaging system instead.

Studies have shown that it takes the average person 64 seconds to get back to speed on their work after discarding a pointless email, disruption which is undermining productivity.

Breton said: “It is not normal that some of our fellow employees spend hours in the evening dealing with their emails.

"The email is no longer the appropriate (communication) tool.

"The deluge of information will be one of the most important problems a company will have to face (in the future). It is time to think differently."

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