National Public Radio has a great idea: no email on Fridays! In the continuing series The Email Age, Morning Edition reports that a few years ago U.S. Cellular implemented “a respite from the e-mail avalanche” tumbling down on employees.
Jay Ellison says “I got a lot of push-back from a lot of people that I was nuts they’d have to operate that way, and I pushed back on them. We’re going to try this.” After two and a half months, everyone loved it.
Along the way, says NPR, executive John Coyle made an amazing discovery. “One Friday, he was about to send an e-mail to a colleague in the finance department whom he had never met. But he called him instead. That’s when the two realized they had similar phone numbers ? meaning that not only were they in the same town, but in the same building.”
“I’m like, ‘Oh, really, where?’ He said, ‘On the fourth floor,’ ” Coyle remembers. “And I said, ‘I’m on the fourth floor.’ I literally got up, walked around the corner and there he was. I had no idea.”
U.S. Cellular employees say that e-mail does have a critical place in their work ? after all, they are in the business of selling wireless communications, including e-mail. “I think people would outright just freak out if we started e-mails back up on Friday,” Ellison said.
Moderation and balance in all things – even email – seems the theme in NPR’s Age of Email series. Take a break from email slavery and check out their wall of email shame: emails sent to the wrong person. Unsend, anyone?