J003-Content-Is-our-addiction-to-email-waning_SQRay Kurzweil believes our brains will one day be connected to the cloud with the ability to interact directly with the technology around us. Whether that is the kind of future you want to live in or the thought of cloud connecting brains is more like horror sci-fi, there is still the pertinent question of whether we need to be so connected in our everyday lives.

With just a few gestures we have a wealth of information in our palm thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, but that same smartphone rise has given rise to ever shorter attention spans, multitasking hell, stress, and some say, more unsocial human behavior.

The amount of ‘increase your productivity’ and ‘become more social outside social media’ lists on the internet are all a testament to the intrusion of technology.

Nowadays you can find articles upon articles explaining how to make the most out of email too, listing different methods to make email more manageable and make this communication work for you rather than fill you up with stress and ulcers. So there seems to be a general consensus that email doesn’t need to take over one’s life and this is also reflected in the trends of the latest GFI Email Survey launched just a few weeks ago.

Independent research firm Opinion Matter conducted the study and they surveyed 1,000 employees – 500 from the UK and 500 from the US – who worked in companies of up to 500 employees.

The survey is now in its third year and the results indicate more of a detachment from business email when compared to previous years. In 2015, in both the UK and the US, less people decided to check their emails on weekends, during holidays or after 11 p.m. While the numbers can be seen as still being quite high with 73% in the UK and 74% in the US checking their emails on weekends, a downward trend can be noticed.

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When asked about how many time they checked email outside of standard work hours, those in the UK have been more determined in keeping their work life balance and in fact there was an increase of 8.4% (up to 39.8%) when choosing the ‘I don’t check work email outside of standard work hours’ options. On the other side of the pond the situation is different as the percentage on that particular question remained the same (at 31.8%).

In 2015, face to face communication, according to the results of the survey, is on the up. Even though email is still considered the number one method of business communication, face to face meetings were ranked second in both the UK and the US, and their popularity is on the increase at 29%, from 19% in the UK and 22% in the US.

Finally, the survey also points towards more concern for privacy as there is a substantial decrease in users choosing their business account to send personal emails.

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If you would like to learn more about the 2015 GFI email survey or maybe you would like to take a look at the full results, you can click here for the raw data.

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For the infographics:
Click here for UK version
Click here for the US version