Sydney: An IBM survey has found that the welter of emails arriving at workstations is a key contributor to workplace stress.
The survey of 629 managers found 45 per cent agree that having too many irrelevant emails in their inbox makes for a stressful workplace.
Seven per cent find it very stressful, whilst half of respondents agreed that unanswered emails were also contributing to workplace stress.
The stress of constantly responding to emails affects 48 per cent of workers, rising to 54 per cent in organisations with more than 500 employees.
Almost 100 per cent of respondents said email remains the most commonly used collaborative tool in the workplace but is often overwhelming or used in the wrong way, leading to avoidable workplace stress.
Predictably, the study also found that communication blunders in the office are commonplace, and another contributor to stress.
Nearly three quarters of workers admitted they have sent an email to the wrong person by mistake, and nearly half have hit Reply to All instead of Reply or the opposite at some time.
As many as 59 per cent of managers have tried to recall an email but it was too late, and 49 per cent have said something in an email which they have later come to regret.
IBM Australia spokesman James Gorry said Australian workers are looking for alternative ways to work more productively, and to find tools that can help alleviate workplace stress rather than increase it.
"It is clear that Australian organisations are missing an opportunity to encourage the adoption of enterprise grade social networking tools, alongside the old favourites including email, as these technologies can both increase employee morale as well as drive a more efficient workforce," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Gorry as saying.