French IT Company to ban emails in office

London, Nov 29 (ANI): Former French finance minister Thierry Breton plans to ban his office staff from sending emails to each other, saying they are a waste of time and outdated.

Breton, 56, who is now CEO of Atos, one of Europe's largest information technology services wants a "zero email" policy to be in place within as early as 18 months, arguing that only 10 per cent of the 200 electronic messages his employees receive per day on average turn out to be useful.

Instead he wants them to use an instant messaging and a Facebook-style interface.

Breton said that the staff, spend between 5-20 hours handling emails.

"It is not normal that some of our fellow employees spend hours in the evening dealing with their emails," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

"The email is no longer the appropriate (communication) tool.

"The deluge of information will be one of the most important problems a company will have to face (in the future). It is time to think differently.

According to a recent study by the social and business responsibility watchdog ORSE, reading useless messages is terrible for concentration, as it takes 64 seconds to get back on the ball after doing so.

"Poorly controlled, the email can become a devastating tool," it warned.

The younger generation have already scrapped the email, with only 11 per cent of 11 to 19 year-olds using it and online social networking is now more popular than email and search, silicon.fr revealed.

"Companies must prepare for the new wave of usage and behaviour," Breton said.

He wants staff to use chat-type collaborative services inspired by social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter.

Breton said that personally he had already adopted the new method.

"If people want to talk to me, they can come and visit me, call or send me a text message.

"Emails cannot replace the spoken word," he added.

However, experts said that email would not die out anytime soon as it played a different role to chat. (ANI)