I write a lot about email marketing, so people send me all sorts of interesting data about how, when, and why decision makers open, read, and respond to emails.
I recently received an infographic from ReachMail (an email marketing vendor) revealing how workers use email when they're not at work (or working from home). I've reproduced the infographic at the end of the post, but first, here are my observations about the data.
1. Email isn't the only game in town.
While more than half of the respondents felt they receive more email than they did three years ago, 46 percent felt they're receiving about the same amount or less. I suspect this is because more people are using social media to communicate, even in the workplace.
2. Men find it harder to stop emailing.
Men are more likely than women (62 percent to 46 percent) to be sending work emails after 9 p.m. and more likely than women (45 percent to 37 percent) to be receiving after-hours emails. Women are much better than men (43 percent to 33 percent) at ignoring emails while they're on vacation.
3. Millennials are smart about after-hours emailing.
While Millennials get significantly more after-hours work emails than other generations, they're the least likely to be sending them. Weirdly, they're more than twice as likely as Baby Boomers (55 percent to 18 percent) to "feel important" when they get after-hours work emails.
4. Gen-Xers are doing too much after-hours emailing.
While Gen-Xers receive just about as many after-hours work emails as Baby Boomers (but significantly fewer than Millennials), they're the most likely to be sending work emails after midnight. Why did the name Alex P. Keaton suddenly pop into my mind?
5. A lot of people aren't really taking vacations.
Almost two out of three (61 percent) of workers check email while on vacation, and almost one of out of five (18 percent) check email frequently while on vacation. People on the West Coast are particularly prone (71 percent) to vacation emailing. That's way too much.
6. "Zero inbox" is borderline OCD behavior.
People who try to keep their inbox clean of emails are spending way too much time thinking about emails. The best way to keep emailing from getting out of control, in my view, is to only check it periodically. Trying for "zero inbox" is letting email rule your career.