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First, it was a silent hour from 9-10 in the mornings where interruptions from colleagues were banned and you could actually get work done without people popping their head in your door.

Then it was casual Fridays, whereby people could come to work comfortably and "get work done" without taking all that extra time to put on heels and hose or shirt and tie.

Now, it’s email-free Fridays.  According to some claims, the idea started in England about 6 years ago at Nestle Rowntree when the company announced a Friday email ban.  More recently, several U.S. companies such as Intel and Cushman & Wakefield are following suit in various departments and divisions.  And often, the information-overload problem isn’t a result of outsider spam.  The inbox overflow stems from internal emails from colleagues copying each other on everything from "Did you catch the big game this weekend?" to "Any feedback on the XYZ report before I submit it?" to "Would you like to review these minutes on the 3-hour meeting that you just sat through before they become final?"

Even if the answer is no, no, no, the emails still clutter up your inbox for the more important items from customers.

Of course, email has become vital to doing business—particularly if you work with colleagues and clients in other time zones and countries.  But are you letting email become a burden rather than a boon to your work? 

My question:  What do you personally think about email-free Fridays?  Has your organization adopted such an initiative either formally or informally?

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