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Email Anxiety- What Causes it and How to Avoid it at Work

Let’s talk about your anxiety, your email anxiety. Those two words sound oddly ridiculous next to each other, email anxiety. I mean come on, people have way more important things to be anxious about. According to a recent survey of 503 employees at workplaces in the United States, email anxiety may be something you experience and don’t even realize it.

81% of people surveyed said that they checked their emails on the weekend.  So what is the big deal right, you check your email. Well, according to The Radicati Group, Inc.’s 2015 Email Statistics Report “The number of business emails sent and received per user per day totals 122 emails per day”. So quick math here. On average you send/receive 122 emails per day, then we multiply that by 7 days in a week, that gives us 854 emails a week. For the sake of argument, we are going to say that it takes on average 2 minutes to respond to an email. So, 854 emails per week times 2 minutes a piece gives us 1,708 minutes of your life gone! That is 28.5 hours of your week spent on email. When you run the numbers that way it can cause some serious anxiety.

Kavaliro is a staffing agency specializing in Information Technology. Why is that important? Our staff not only send emails from their outlook accounts, but they are also sending emails from Monster, LinkedIn, Dice, CareerBuilder etc. So it is like they are using 4 email accounts (or more) all for the same job. This causes us some serious anxiety and got us thinking. What are the tricks our IT tech staffing team uses to manage the stress of recruiting emails and avoid email anxiety?

Hours Spent

Fear of No Response:

Noelle Williams Said, “My anxiety is what I send out an email requiring a response, and no one responds…”

Noelle’s Solution: “I ensure there is some type of follow-up and action required by the receipt.”

Fear of Overthinking:

Alexis Madsen Said, “My biggest anxiety has to do with sending emails that are too flowery or verbose where my point gets lost.”

Alexis’ Solution: “My advice for combating email anxiety is to keep it simple. Quickly proofread your email for errors, and send it off, don’t think too much.”

Fear of Slow Response:

Bill Peppler said, “I have anxiety if I have unread emails in my inbox that I don't respond to in a timely fashion.”

Bill’s Solution: “I overcome this by scanning for emails that need then most urgent attention and responding to those first.”

Stephanie’s Solution: “I set expectations for response time.  If you read an email that you can’t answer right away, reply saying that you have received their request and give a realistic time they should expect your response.  The sender will appreciate that you have acknowledged them, and you can work on their request when you are able to, without them interrupting you with their follow-ups.”

Fear of too Many Emails:

Gema Nunez said, “I don’t check my email at home all the time so when I come to work in the morning and see I have a lot of emails I panic a little.”

Gema’s Solution: “Drink tea and meditate. I make myself a cup of tea and take a few moments at my desk to soak in the day before I attack my inbox.”

David’s Solution: “Delete.  Many emails aren’t important or relevant. We don’t get time back. Why waste it looking at emails that don’t matter? Get rid of them! Move senders to the Junk Mail folder or unsubscribe. That way you’ll have more time to focus on important things.”

Adam’s Solution: “Don’t get overwhelmed. Organize emails as they come in. I put emails into folders as soon as they pop into my inbox.”

Fear of Missing an Important Email:

Stephanie Bruha said, “I used to worry that I was going to miss an important email when it came in because I have to focus on lots of projects at once.”

Stephanie’s Solution: “I take the time to learn about the mail software we use.  For example, Outlook has a lot of features that will help sort your mail for you, keeping your inbox less cluttered. You can set rules to put certain types of emails into a folder, or set alerts when an email arrives for a specific sender (like your boss!). I use the alert function all the time.”

Fear of Confusion:

Kim Dvorscak said, “My biggest anxiety is worrying how I will come across, and how my message is perceived.”

Wendy’s Solution: “I typically would read an email I’m drafting out over and over again. I also have someone else proofread and then send it out. That’s how I deal with the perception and grammatical mistakes I may make.”

Kim’s Solution: “If I am still in doubt…I don't write it… I pick up the phone.  Putting something in writing is permanent.  A phone call can morph based on reaction.”

A recent survey asked, “If you had to choose, would you say that email is a blessing or a curse?” 90% of participants said it was a blessing. While getting what feels like a million emails a day can be stressful, think about how awful it would be if we had to wait for letters to be delivered via snail mail!

We want to hear from you! Join the conversation on Twitter and let us know if these tips worked as well for you as they do for our recruiters. Also don't be afraid to subscriber to our blog, it's only one email a week. 



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