06 Dec 19 | News

Email, our daily lifesaver: real friend or hidden enemy?

IMS, in collaboration with LISER, raises awareness of the phenomenon of infobesity and reveals the results of its barometer

On Tuesday 19 November at BCEE, IMS invited the managers of its member companies to meet Caroline Sauvajol-Rialland, Professor at Science Po Paris and author of "Infobésité: comprendre et maîtriser la déferlante informationnelle." In the presence of the Prime Minister and Minister for Digitalisation Xavier Bettel, CEOs were able to discuss the increase in the volume of information, the speed of circulation, the risks of digital overheating that this phenomenon entails for everyone, but also ways to prevent it.

Then the next day, on the occasion of a Lunch'n'learn at Arendt House, IMS presented its barometer on professional information flows and communications at work. Between June and August 2019, IMS, in collaboration with LISER, conducted an online survey and examined digital habits and analyzed their effects on employee well-being. These first Luxembourg figures on the issue were collected thanks to the involvement of 107 IMS members and the responses of 1,372 of their employees.

A few significant figures:

  • 32% of respondents read their business emails once a week or more on their way to work. This habit increases the risk of experiencing stress by 34% and decreases the expression of satisfaction with the time available for private life by 50%.
  • 61% emails per day on average and 66% of respondents check their email inbox as soon as a new message is reported to them (more than one interruption every 8 minutes). And yet, setting up notifications for your digital tools reduces the risk of feeling stressed by 26% and increases the potential for job satisfaction by 41%.
  • 36% of respondents miss essential information or messages at least once a month, which increases the risk of stress by 39% and reduces the potential for life satisfaction by 26%. Adopting a classification adapted to neurological functioning or modifying your email management may be solutions to be tested.

The analysis of the barometer shows that the digital tools (hardware and software) made available to employees do not have an intrinsic impact on the well-being of employees, it is the use and infobesity factors that influence stress and individual satisfaction. 

In addition to the quantified results, the thirty or so participants were presented with the first tips on how to use digital tools, in particular, emails, for greater collective efficiency and personal serenity at work.

The follow-up to the Info Flow Savvy project for 2020

Financed by the European Social Fund, the Ministry of State with Digital Luxembourg, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Employees, IMS will offer training to its members, one for employees and the other for managers, created thanks to neuroscience to remain effective in a hyper-connected world.

During 2020, member companies will also be offered the opportunity to conduct pilot projects within their organizations to test systems and recommendations to limit the flow of information and improve the well-being of employees in their companies.

This communiqué has been republished with the approval of IMS