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Let's ditch internal emails: French boss

Matthew Warren · 29 Nov 2011, 09:18

Published: 29 Nov 2011 09:38 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Nov 2011 09:18 GMT+01:00

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The head of one of France's largest IT firms, Atos, has said he would like emails between employees to be a thing of the past by 2013.

Daily newspaper 20 Minutes reported that Thierry Breton, a former economy minister, complained that "managers spend five to twenty hours a week reading and writing emails."

He would like to replace internal emails with social networks and special messenger applications.

A recent report found that employees need 64 seconds to get their minds refocused after reading an email. 

The business social responsibility watchdog ORSE found that 56 percent of employees spend more than two hours a day dealing with emails with 38 percent receiving over 100 messages a day.

"Email is a real problem," said Nicolas Moinet, a professor at the university of Poitiers. "We end up with crazy situations where people go to a meeting and continue sending email, then ask the other people present to send them an email to confirm what was said in the meeting."

Other companies have tried to cut down on emails between colleagues, such as the "no email" days introduced by camera company Canon.

"They are often a failure," said Géraldine de La Ruppelle, who teaches technology at business school ESCEM. "People tend to just put off sending and reading messages."

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Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

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