Unlisted email a growing workplace trend, consultant says
September 7, 1999
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Some corporate executives and office workers now share confidential e-mail addresses with a select few business colleagues and friends because they are swamped with the electronic equivalent of junk mail, a communications consultant said Tuesday.
"In the old days it used to be your secretary who screened your calls. Nowadays you get a second or third email," said Andrew Gilman, president of CommCore Consulting Group, whose clients include General Motors, Spring and Bell Atlantic.
In a recent survey, CommCore and two other firms that specialize in high-tech communications counseling found that one in five office workers use e-mail as a way to avoid speaking to people in person -- even others in the same office.
Fifty per cent of those surveyed used e-mail as their primary source of communication, Gilman said, and most had an e-mail horror story to tell -- getting fired by e-mail, sending a personal note to the wrong person or receiving a private message intended for somebody else.
"People are now getting as many as 200 or 300 e-mails a day," he said. "There's nobody screening your messages and you really don't know what's in them.
"The technology was great. Now it's overused and becoming unmanageable."
The only solution, Gilman said, is to set up a file for the messages you really need or want. He said that in some quarters it's becoming a status symbol to obtain the confidential or elite e-mail addresses of others.
The non-scientific survey, whose results were made public last month, found:
--71 percent of business callers would rather leave a voice mail that talk with the person they are calling.
--65 percent would rather send an e-mail than leave a voicemail.
--81 percent said their use of e-mail for business purposes has increased in the last year, compared with just 28 per cent who reported an increase in the use of voicemail for business.
E-mail options - August 31, 1999
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