2003 Email Survey Finds Email Abuse a Firing Offense

Jun 27, 2003

According to a new survey from the American Management Association, Clearswift, and The ePolicy Institute, 22% of companies have terminated an employee for email infractions and mail users spend about 25% of the workday on mail. Over 1,100 US employers participated in the 2003 E-Mail Survey, a follow-up to an email survey conducted by the American Management Association and ePolicy Institute in 2001. The survey in detail revealed that 14% of respondents noted that a court or regulatory body has ordered their organization to produce employee email--an increase of 5% over 2001, when 9% of respondents reported employee email had been subpoenaed. The average respondent spends about 107 minutes (1 hour 47 minutes) on email every day (approximately 25% of the workday). While 24% report spending less than one hour, 31% spend more than two hours and 8% more than four hours. Seventy-six percent of respondents say that they have lost time in the last year due to email system problems. Thirty-five percent estimate they lost only half a day, but 24% think they have lost more than two days. Eighty-six percent of respondents agree that email has made them more efficient, in spite of the fact that 92% receive spam mail at work. According to the study, fully 47% say spam constitutes more than 10% of all their e-mail; 7% report spam represents over 50% of all email received. According to the compiled data, in 2003, more than half (52%) of U.S. companies engage in some form of email monitoring of employees and enforce email policies with discipline or other methods. In fact, 22% of companies have terminated an employee for email infractions. The use of technology to monitor e-mail and control message content has increased since 2001, when 24% of respondents reported using software to conduct key word or key phrase searches of email and/or computer files. In 2003, over 40% of employers report using software to control written e-mail content. Fully 88% couple software with education. While 90% of employers have installed software to monitor incoming and outgoing email, only 19% are using technology to monitor internal email among employees.

(http://www.amanet.org), (http://www.clearswift.com), (http://www.epolicyinstitute.com)