Zoom calls became a solution for connecting remote teams, and Zoom fatigue quickly became a complaint. But another communication tool—email—is a bigger cause of stress. According to a study by the email app Superhuman, 64% of remote workers would rather resume a daily commute than continue dealing with the growing number of emails and instant messages that are filling up their inboxes. In fact, nearly half of respondents said they’d rather clean their bathroom than sort through their unopened emails.
The study found that 50% of remote workers have spent personal money on tools to help manage their productivity, but the problem may be better solved with a more effective system of dealing with email, says Laura Mae Martin, executive productivity adviser for Google.
“Email has always been a cause of stress,” says Martin. “It ranges from having too much of it to not finding something when you need it. Email anxiety is due to a constant flow of other people asking you for things or sending you things. We feel like we don’t have enough time to keep up.”
And the pandemic has made it worse. “We used to have a quick chat in the hall, and that’s becoming email,” says Martin. “Email has inflated as it’s become a method of communication that used to take place face-to-face.”