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Capstone Presentation -- Did You Get My Email?

An Intimate Look at Individual Relationships with Work Inboxes

Nathaniel Jones

on 22 May 2015

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Transcript of Capstone Presentation -- Did You Get My Email?

Did You Get My Email?
An Intimate Look at Individual Relationships with Work Inboxes
One final thought...
By: Nathaniel Jones
Re: Capstone in Communication
May 18, 2015 at 6:23 PM
Re: Background
Re: Grounds for this Study
FWD: Rationale
Research Q's?
FWD: Method
Results! (WIP)
Re: What does this mean?
Further Research Needed
1998 - 190

2010 - 110

Avg. Email Sent/Received Per Day
Mobile Use Increases
- Reiss & McNatt, 1998; The Radicati Group; Chui et al., 2012
2014 - 120

2018 - 140*
>> 48% of the avg. workweek
> 28% - managing (roughly 2.5 hrs.)
> 20% - tracking down info/people
More Scary Numbers...

68% before 8 AM

40% after 10 PM
Backlash Efforts
Emergence of "Meta" SaaS Companies
Email Sensitive Corporate Programs

Social Information Processing Theory (SIP)
Social Identity Model of Deindividuation Effects Theory (SIDE)
Adjustments Are Still Needed
Why Do It?
Differences in Individual Management
Research Questions 1 & 2
Found Limitations
Still More To Do
Conclusions...for now
What did we learn?
- Walther, 1992
Concerns all methods of CMC

Suggests same results as FtF, but more time intensive due to absence of cues
Social Construction of Technology (SCOT)
- Reicher, Spears and Postmes, 1995
Critical: is the extra time given causing congestion?
Recruitment & Participants

> 5

Age breakdown:
3 - 20s
1 - 30s
1 - 60s
4 American
1 Croatian
Health, Fine Art, Non-Profit, Mailing, Web Media

Semi-structured Interviews
4 - Skype
3 - In Person
3 - Via Email

All approx. 1 Hr.
No 2 were alike; open & topical
RQ1: Why is email causing all these issues?

RQ2: What factors lead to differences in perception of email?
Research Questions 3 & 4
RQ3: What are those problems, and what have people done to fix them?

RQ4: What influences chronemic perception/reception differences?
Convenience sampling >>N = 10

Via Email, Phone, or Text

All daily work email users

> 5

Age breakdown:
1 - 20s
2 - 30s
1 - 40s
1 - 60s
4 American
1 Israeli
Energy, Web Media, Academia, Environmental, Performing Arts,

Critical Theory
- Horkheimer, 1937
Both describes and critiques the status quo

Contains drive to challenge and change
Critical: Email in the workplace could be better
CMC is socially lacking

Disguises certain comm characteristics
Leads to "enhancing" others
Triggers social or individual identity

Critical: Why are workers assuming so much?
Through use, we establish and interpret a medium's meaning, purpose, and usefulness
In groups, we share meaning about the technology

Critical: Email is:
Used for too many things
Lacking "closure" or stability
(geez, another theory!?)
Activity Theory
Kinda complicated
Looks at entire work system for teams/org.
Acts as bridge between a user and his/her social reality
Relationships between objective, people, social context, tools used, division of labor, and est. rules

Critical: Email's overuse and instability leads to critical mass and increasing room for problems
last theory -- promise!
- Vygotsky, Leont've, & Rubinstein (n.y.)
- Pinch and Bijker (1992)
53% of email opens; grown 180% - 2011-'14

36% on desktop

19% in a webmail client

Avg. "workday" is now 7:17am - 7:02pm (2012)
...and I'm not a technophobe.
Campaign Monitor
, &
- Mark, Voida, & Cardello, 2012; Hoshimi, 2012
Kalman, Ravid, Raban, & Rafaeli (2006)

>>N=171,303 CMC interactions
>Enron email database

>Student forum

>Google Answers

No matter medium, people use and respond within 80% consistency

Tyler & Tang (2003)

N=40 Interviews; nature of email use in large org.

Generally, users desire more context of when and how

We perform via interaction -- Golden Rule!

Value of responsiveness profile

Patterns in Response Times
Walther & Tidwell (1995)

N=160; Tested same task vs. socially-related email in 8 different scenarios, altering timestamps

Time sent, message content, and time replied all effect perception

Talking business during off-hours conveys more dominance

More equality conveyed by social conversation during off-hours

Task>Slow Reply = Less intimacy; Social>Slow Reply = Greater Intimacy
Differences in Timestamp Perception
Mark, Voida, & Cardello (2012)

N=13; Cut off from email for 5 days and hooked up to heart monitors

Less multitasking and longer individual task focus

Stress levels were reduced; interacted more

Stressed, Overloaded, Interrupted
Explore the ever-growing, complex web of anxieties,emotions, confusions, personal management strategies, and communication choices involved with peoples' use of work email.
Despite the significant body of research, watchdog warnings, and backlash efforts, we are still experiencing more problems than necessary

Possibly headed for a far less social future
Portions of previous literature unrepresented

Scope was too broad

Interviews were inconsistent

Roughly 7/10 Completed; no real correlations

100% Multiple devices and checking off-hours

Email more often seen as task than convo

Depends - 40%, Task - 40%, Convo - 20%

Amongst Task-Oriented:

Shared motive to keep "To-Do" list from growing leads to frequent interruptions

Divide(s) in perceptions of comm media -- when and why?

Communication channel expectations?

More people should attempt FtF communication more often -- everyone stated their desire and preference for it

More rules for the medium are needed up front

Additional features

Lack of correlation suggests we are as individual via email as we are FtF

Desire to clear inbox might be leading to development of habit for constantly checking

More expectation rules up front would be helpful

Added client features, such as a color coded system would lessen uncertainties
Thanks for listening!
Overall, 90% want to see reduction in SPAM!

60% desire for more context within messages and better communication

Email is mostly useful when used correctly

Time spent is seen as mostly productive

Executive Summary
Levels of Use
No Email for 5 Days
Backlash Efforts for Change
Are we blindly walking into our future?
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