Business Development

The small business advent calendar: 15 December Another festive treat is revealed

Hannah Wilkinson | 15 December 2015 | 9 years ago

checking their email
Over the days leading up to Christmas well be revealing one juicy morsel of small business reading every day
With only ten days left until Christmas, there’s a real treat in store behind today’s door and it involves spending less time on email.

In February, researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver found that when office workers were restricted to checking their email 15 times per week their stress levels became significantly lower.

According to the study, which was published in the academic journal Computers in Human Behaviour, the participants who only logged into to their email accounts three times a day during the working week also reported greater mindfulness, better concentration and higher quality sleep than when they were given unrestricted access to electronic mail.

As additional research carried recently by office furniture manufacturer Steelcase found that one third of UK workers were overwhelmed by distractions, especially over the Christmas period, it seems likely that British entrepreneurs could benefit from reducing usage as much as their Canadian counterparts did.

Bostjan Ljubic, vice president of Steelcase, said, During the Christmas period many of us may feel snowed under. Many companies have to get their annual reports and end of year accounts done and this requires intense concentration.

our poll has shown that many workers feel overwhelmed all year round the Christmas period will undoubtedly exasperate this, he added.

Owner-managers trying to reduce their email usage will be in good company. Kathryn Parsons, founder of tech education startup Decoded, and one of our Small Business Decision Makers 2016, gave up email completely for three months in 2014.

She told The Evening Standard: Honestly, when you say you’ve come off email, people’s jaws drop. I just wanted to experiment with a new way of doing things and it’s worked really well. The whole Decoded mission is to make tech feel sane and manageable and like you’re in charge of it. The problem is that a lot of people feel that tech only creates more chaos for them.

Given that some 32 per cent of SME managers admitted to checking their email on Christmas day, micro businesses owners should certainly take note.

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