2021 Email Overload Survey: Insights on How it Impacts Business and Productivity

  • Nearly half of respondents (40%) receive between 61–200 emails a week. Only 10% or less of those emails are business-critical.
  • A third of respondents say say they spent three to five hours a week managing their inboxes. Given the low rate business critical emails, around 10.8 hours are wasted on average on unproductive work.
  • A majority (61%) believe their personal email management methods are inadequate. yet few believe tech solutions like email apps and email clients are the solution (20%). Interestingly, 60% of those surveyed say they don’t have the time to learn non-tech alternatives.
  • Only 5% of businesses have training materials or employee manuals that go into detail on what or is not business critical communication or email management.

15 Cost of Email Overload Statistics to Know for 2021

01. How many total emails from your business accounts would you say you receive in an average week?

02. How much of your time do you spend managing your email accounts in a workweek?

03. Of the emails you receive, what percentage would you say are actually business-critical?

04. What would you say is your level of stress if you leave your work inbox unchecked?

05. How would you rank these concerns when it comes to not checking email?

06. Of these best practices, which have you used in the past year, or are currently using?

07. Which would you say helped you better manage your email?

08. Do you feel the number of emails you’re receiving compare to last year is…

09. How adequate do you believe the current email management tools/practices your organization has in place are going into next year?

10. What do you think will be the best solution to improving your current email management experience?

11. What is the biggest roadblock to implementing this solution?

12. Compared to last year, how much of your productive energy would you say goes into email management?

13. Do you believe your company’s current email management practices are sufficient?

14. Is the email management approach covered in your company’s employee handbook or during new hire orientation?

15. Is what is/is not a ‘business-critical communication’ covered in your company’s employee handbook or during new hire orientation?

Reduce Email Overload with the Right Tool

Breaking Down the Statistics

  • Differing company sizes
  • Different levels of job seniority
  • Companies with versus those without email-management policies

By company size

  • 30% of the participants were at companies with two to ten employees,
  • 25% at 11 to 50 employees, and
  • 22% were self-employed.

How self-employed professionals experience email

How employees in businesses of 2–10 people experience email

How employees in businesses of 11–50 people experience email

Main takeaway

By job seniority

  1. C-level (Owner, Director, Partner, or CXO), 42%
  2. Middle management (Senior, Manager), 41%
  3. Entry-level (Entry, Training, Unpaid, Other), 17%

Some Interesting differences between respondents of different job seniorities:

  • Responsibilities influence what determines the biggest concern when it comes to not checking email. For example, the biggest concern for C-level and middle management respondents is missing business-critical information.
  • With 0%, the C-level respondents don’t consider missing industry-relevant news or information a primary concern.
  • That concern is far less for entry-level respondents. This can be explained in their performance being measured by how well they contribute to their teams.

By Company Email Culture

Email Overload Management Best Practice Tips

What is your biggest frustration when it comes to email overall?

For any email management best practices you tried and stopped using, why is that?

What is your personal approach to email management?

What one thing would you say would improve online communication and collaboration for your employees/coworkers?




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