'Marketplace' Report: Zero E-mail Fridays

Nearly 100 billion e-mails are sent everyday. It is not just an annoyance, but a productivity issue. Experts say it takes up to four minutes to refocus on your work after checking e-mail. Some say e-mail's distracting qualities has outgrown its convenience.

To battle this trend of e-mail overload, some companies are instituting "E-mail Free Fridays." E-mail isn't forbidden, but everyone is encouraged to phone or meet face-to-face.

Around 150 engineers at computer-chip maker Intel are among the latest to institute an E-mail Free Friday policy. Others are going further. Some prominent tech bloggers have declared "e-mail bankruptcy" and are deleting their entire inboxes and starting over.

But not all businesses are going cold turkey. Some firms have banned only internal e-mails on certain days. However, sweeping the particular e-mail restrictions are, it is forcing people to talk to each other — something co-workers have not done in a while.

Improving employee interaction is not the only benefit to the e-mail free days. Companies have noticed an increase in productivity and an overall decrease in e-mail use throughout the workweek.

Marketplace's Sam Eaton talks Alex Cohen about the no e-mail movement.



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