Captivating -- Liberating

“A growing number of employers, including U.S. Cellular, Deloitte & Touche and Intel, are imposing or trying out ‘no email’ Fridays or weekends. While the bans typically allow emailing clients and customers or responding to urgent matters, the normal flow of routine internal email is halted. Violators are hit with token fines, or just called out by the boss.

“The limits aim to encourage more face-to-face and phone contact with customers and co-workers, raise productivity or just give employees a reprieve from the ever-rising email tide...

“And one-third of users feel stressed by heavy email volume, according to a 2007 study… by the University of Glasgow and Paisley University in Scotland. Many check email as often as 30 to 40 times an hour, the study showed.

“Managers complain that rather than confronting problems, employees use email to avoid them by passing issues back and forth in long message strings, like a hot potato. Email reduces face-to-face contact among co-workers and clients; terse, poorly phrased messages further strain those relationships. And it is spilling into weekends, chaining employees to computers when they should be relaxing.”

(“A Day Without Email Is Like...” Sue Shellenbarger. Wall Street Journal: October 11, 2007. pg. D.1)

WITHOUT email, without Blackberry, without IM, without chat, without iPods, cell phones, text messaging, all we would have is human touch. Go for a visit; look them in the eye; hear them breathe. Peace. Be still. Listen.

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