Everyone has their own relationship with email, and for the most part….it’s complicated.
The Adobe Consumer Email Survey Report 2017, which was carried out by Advanis, explores how U.S. white-collar workers who own a smartphone use email, and why. It provides gritty details.
For example, when it comes to something as significant as quitting your job, 76% of respondents feel the need to do it in person over any other method, which makes sense. But a surprising number want to avoid any direct personal contact: 11% over email, 7% on the phone, and an amazing 3% via IM.
We had to pause there. Let’s repeat: 3% of people would quit their jobs over text message.
For such an obviously, patently bad idea, that seems a very high percentage. It should be closer to zero.
Let’s be clear, dear readers: do not quit your job via text message.
There are a few other findings that surprised us, too.
Here’s how long people spend checking email
First, people are spending an absolutely bonkers amount of time just reading their email every day.
The research found that every weekday, respondents spend a staggering 5.4 total hours on average checking emails.
Incredibly, that 5.4 hours was a 27% drop from 2016, which means we used to spend even more time in the past checking email, which is possibly the least rewarding of all human activities.
The bulk of that time is spent on work emails for an average of 3.3 hours each weekday, down 20% from last year.
When it comes to personal ones, people are reading their email an average of 2.1 hours, a 36% decrease from 2016.
Email: what is it good for?
People clearly think that communicating about an assignment’s progress is nothing like talking about how you’re jumping ship at work. Here are a few of the survey’s other results about what people like to discuss on emails.
When it comes to quick questions, 35% like using email the most, 15% in person, 25% on the phone and 19% on instant message or text
But where letting your manager know about a crucial “issue” was concerned, 25% chose email as the best way do so do, compared to 44% who would rather do it in person, 21% over the phone, and 6% via IM.
Email: Young people are attached to it
Respondents in the 25-34 age bracket check email more than others: 48% of them said they looked at email on vacation, compared to 46% of all the people surveyed.
Even worse, people under 34 also checked email more in bed than everyone else, with 76% of them reporting doing so — compared to only 54% of all other respondents.
47% of people ages 25-34 also check their email while commuting, compared to 32% of all other participants.
Younger workers are more prone to certain email behaviors.
Here’s what people hate most about email
With the flood of emails we get every day, some are bound to get on our nerves. That being said, the research confirmed “the most annoying thing” that happens when marketers send respondents emails.
Among all surveyed, receiving emails from brands too frequently was the option that took the cake, with a whopping 50% all respondents choosing this. Badly written messages or those with an excessive amount of words took second place at 27%.
The option in sixth place is all too relatable, with 13% of people reporting that they can’t stand emails that are too customized to their interests, to the point where they find it “creepy,” among other results.