Banning or putting restrictions on email, the research suggests, can dramatically increase individual productivity and reduce stress. Researchers from the University of California, Irvine and the U.S. Army cut off email usage for thirteen civilian office workers and measured the effects on productivity and stress. The researchers first took participants through a three-day baseline period in which they were interviewed and observed both visually and with computer monitoring software (to see how which programs they used, how often, and how much their work was interrupted). They even measured the participants’ heart rates (as a proxy for stress levels). Then they pulled the plug on email, installing a filter on the participants’ email program—which would file away all incoming messages for later reading and remove all notifications.
Read the full story at Harvard Business Review.