Your Document Management Knowledge Center

Reduce Email Overload with Proper Document Management Initiatives

The average knowledge worker gets 100 emails a day and spends nearly 40% of their day dealing with emails. Just think how many of those are related to endless relaying of documents.                                                                                        overload

You know the drill; someone writes a report or an RFP or marketing piece and it gets emailed out to XY and Z. They look it over and send it back—to “everyone”—with revisions. “Everyone” looks it over again, tries to figure out what changes were made and then emails it back with their revisions…to “everyone”.

“Everyone” looks it over yet again, tries to figure out what changes were made, makes their own changes and sends it back to “everyone.” And so the cycle goes on, unabated. How much time do you spend every week on this cycle of document iterations?

It’s not just a sad email story. It’s a costly one.

In one study, a group of Microsoft workers took, on average, 15 minutes to return to serious mental tasks, such as writing reports or computer code, after dealing with incoming email. According to the New York Times, they wandered (squandered?) off to reply to other messages or browse the Web. 

If “everyone” in your organization wastes a minimum of 15 minutes after dealing with every document that’s emailed to them (and that’s assuming they’re as smart and efficient as Microsoft employees), the time does add up.

And the employee work-time costs don’t stop there. There’s also the stress involved with dealing with inefficient data and document management. According to research from the Institute of the Future in Menlo Park, 71% of white-collar workers feel stressed about the amount of information they must process and act on while doing business. And 60% feel overwhelmed. Why not take email-driven document management out of the process?

What if “everyone” knew where any given document has been, what it’s been up to and where it’s going without having to follow or find endless email threads? (Who's that contract been flirting with?) According to Accenture, 59% of middle managers in large companies miss important information almost every day “because it exists within the company but they cannot find it”. We’re all going to miss something at some time, but 59% of the time seems a bit much.

“Everyone” hates spending a good portion of their day responding to emails related to documents, but it’s a necessary evil, right?


Most people spend more time dealing with email than they do with their families, but effective document management can help stop that. Stop sorting through email threads to see who’s changed what. Stop retracing the origin of a document in your inbox. Stop checking your mail to see if “everyone” has approved your changes. Stop. Stop. Stop.

Executives waste six weeks per year searching for lost documents, according to a report in Fast Company. That’s not “fast” at all. And wasting time is not good for the “company.”

Stop the email overload and improve your document management with actual document management—it’s about time.

Want to be the exception to the rule?

Try using DocuVantage OnDemand instead of email to share and collaborate on your files.

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Topics: Document Control, SaaS