More than half of the emails sent from company systems have nothing to do with work, according to exclusive research for vnunet.com's sister title Computing.
The study, by email management vendor Waterford Technologies, looked at the email activities of five public and private sector organisations with 3,230 users.
On average, 53 per cent of emails sent during one week were not related to business. The highest instance was reported at a public sector organisation, where 70 per cent of messages were personal.
"Everyone we speak to at the moment just doesn't know what is going on with email in their organisation," said Ian Davidson, UK country manager at Waterford Technologies. "This is eye-opening stuff, and people are just shocked. Email has been ballooning and companies have been throwing storage and bandwidth at it to solve the problem".
One example within the study showed one public sector organisation, where 9GB of data in deleted and sent folders was found, whilst non-business related attachments sent during the week consumed 470MB of data. Another business within the survey, a publishing company, had 315MB of data in the mailbox of someone who no longer worked there.
From the study, it appears that Hotmail is an extremly popular email destination, with research showing that the Microsoft controlled free email service was the most popular domain name for incoming and outgoing email at one finance company, where only 40 per cent was work related. And at another insurance company, they discovered that 45 per cent of emails were personal, with eight per cent of messages going to or from Hotmail.
News source: vnunet