Too many emails is bad for business 太多的電子郵件對公司運營不利

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Image caption Do you check work emails all the time?

Vocabulary:Work 詞匯:工作

It's 7pm and I'm tired. My shift finished one hour ago but I'm still in the office dealing with emails. But I'm not alone when it comes to having a full inbox and no time to reply. This problem has been worrying experts in business.

Sir Cary Cooper, an academic and former adviser to the British government, says that employers must combat an "epidemic" of staff checking work emails after-hours.

"For people to be working at night, weekends and holidays on email is not good for the health of our country", says Cooper. And he suggests that sending and receiving emails within the same building should be banned. These should be replaced by face-to-face meetings and phone calls.

Some companies offer internal social networks to have people interacting.

Part of the modern thinking is that staff's healthy work-life balance leads to a company's increased productivity. And there are suggestions that the workforce should have an input in changing this culture. According to Cooper, one practical solution would be to send a message to alert workers when they access emails at a time they should be relaxing with their families.

Some companies have adopted a more radical approach to combat the current 'email epidemic'. The French IT company Atos announced in 2011 it was considering banning the use of internal emails. The announcement was enough to make the number of emails decrease.

The BBC's Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones suggests that employees write shorter emails, with the subject line treated as a headline so that the recipient decides if the rest is worth reading. And a crucial point: we need to think before copying a message to everyone in the company. Otherwise many will end up like me - late in the day just pressing the same key. Delete, delete, delete...