One of the largest information technology companies in the world is to ban e-mails – because it says 90 per cent of them are a waste of time. The extraordinary measure was announced by Atos, which employs almost 80,000 people in 42 countries including Britain. It believes that too many of them waste hours dealing with irrelevant e-mails, so wants them phased out within 18 months.
Instead they want people to spend more time talking to each other – either on the phone or in person – and to use tightly controlled ‘real time’ messaging interfaces. Thierry Breton, Atos’s 56-year-old chief executive officer who is a former French finance minister, said the ‘zero e-mail’ policy could be in place within a year-and-a-half.
‘It is not right that some of our fellow employees spend hours in the evening dealing with their e-mails,’ said Mr Breton.
Claiming that only 20 out of every 200 emails received by his staff every day turn out to be important, Mr Breton said: ‘The e-mail is no longer the appropriate tool. It is time to think differently.