The average person will spend a quarter of their working life dealing with emails, a new report has claimed.
The survey, commissioned by Plantronics, has found that a typical Europe-based manager spends two hours each day reading and writing emails.
This figure, which works out as ten years of the average working life, is considered unnecessarily high by managers, who told the report's compilers that a third of all emails they receive are irrelevant.
Peter Thomson, director of the Future Work Forum at Henley Management College, which carried out the research, commented: "Email use is out of control, often causing confusion and inertia."
"Our research… paints a bleak picture of silent offices where colleagues email rather than talk face to face."
Philip Vanhoutte, European managing director of Plantronics, urged managers to "encourage greater use of the telephone and teach people how to effectively use a range of information communications technology products".
The report comes at a time when many employers are beginning to consider the drawbacks and not simply the benefits of email communication.
Some companies have even instituted "no email" days or weeks in order to encourage more personal contact between employees.