Email schmemail...

Adam L Beberg beberg at
Fri Sep 19 13:38:20 PDT 2003

The cold hard facts are coming in... except in tightly controlled 
situations, email is no longer a net gain in productivity. Neither is 
IM. This guy deserves a medal...

"Hey, we figured out we don't have to outsource all of your jobs to 
India if you stop wasting 7 hours a day playing with the computer and 
do your jobs."

Oh, and another massive virus is out messing up the net and clogging 
pipes again. W32.Swen.A...

- Adam L. Beberg - beberg at


Deluged Telecoms Boss Bans Staff E-Mails
By Bernhard Warner, European Internet Correspondent

  LONDON (Reuters) -  The owner of one of Britain's biggest mobile phone 
chains has declared war on e-mail, banning staff from sending 
electronic missives to co-workers in a move he says will save the 
company millions of pounds each year.

  "We have e-mail paralysis," John Caudwell, the owner of the high 
street retailer Phones4U, told Reuters on Friday. "If you have a cancer 
you have to cut it out. That's what I've done."

  Caudwell, who described himself as a slow typer who has yet to send an 
e-mail on his own, introduced the measure this week because staff were 
spending too much time with internal e-mails rather than dealing with 

  He calculated three hours per day off e-mail multiplied by the number 
of staff affected by the ban (600-700) multiplied by the average 
employee wage will translate to monthly savings of 1 million pounds 
($1.63 million).

  "The policy came from me. The staff was initially slightly shocked 
that I should make such a revolutionary move," he said.

  Customers can still e-mail product questions to staff, but for 
managers and staff at the 341 branches the privilege is history.

  Bulging e-mail in-boxes is a daily headache for corporate drones. But 
while e-mail fatigue is often cited as a modern-day workplace 
distraction, few could conceive of life without it.

  TPG, a Dutch mail express and logistics company with over 150,000 
staff in 62 countries, has a typical love-hate relationship with e-mail.

  "It would be a serious setback for the company if we could no longer 
use email, and we are not considering it," said Tanno Massar, director 
of media relations at TPG.

  "E-mail has its own qualities, it's very fast and you can inform many 
people at the same time. That is something you cannot match with face 
to face meetings," Tanno added.

  There is one notable exception to Caudwell's ban. The company's lone 
communications manager has the task of compiling reports from 40 
company managers and writing a daily e-mail distributed to the 
company's 2,500 employees.

  (Additional reporting by Wendel Broere in Amsterdam) 

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