A workshop for managers who wonder if the way their team or organisation uses email is optimal, and how to ensure this important tool supports the productivity, functioning and well-being of their teams.


During this workshop, managers are invited to reflect on how email is used in their organisation or team, and on what can be done to ensure it is used effectively and supports productivity.


First, participants discover how common email habits, if left unchecked, create excessive demands on people’s energy, time and cognitive resources – and what the short- and long-term consequences of it are. An introduction to some key concepts from cognitive psychology supports developing a deeper understanding of why an email can be both a blessing and a curse.


This helps participants build a picture of the tacit email culture in their organisation and understand its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.


Then, participants are presented with and reflect on various choices that can be made when it comes to the use of email. Through stories and examples, they discover various interventions and strategies that can be put in place to ensure email serves its rightful purpose in the organisation: supporting processes without stealing energy, focus and time.


Finally, the workshop dives into the key concepts of change leadership: what is required to make sure that plans for improvements are taken up and implemented. When combined with insights into what drives people’s behaviour, from habits to fears, it allows the participants to start designing strategies and interventions that set their teams and organisations on a path towards positive change.


As a result, managers become better equipped to consciously design and put into practice a more positive email culture in their teams or across entire organisations.


    • › managerial training
    • › staff up-skilling
    • › organisational capacity-building
    • › organisational change

  •      Useful for:

    • › increasing productivity and effectiveness
    • › removing bottlenecks
    • › overhauling internal communication
    • › improving staff well-being
    • › improving organisational resource management


    • Duration: 3h*
    • Modes of facilitation: on-site or remote
    • Number of participants: up to 12
    • Organisational suitability: private, public, and third sector, citizen’s movements, grass-root organisations, informal groups
    • Inquiries: contact@activismincubator.eu

* online workshops are usually divided into two sessions


Thirty years ago, personal computing technologies, including email, created a revolution in personal productivity, enabling a new level of self-expression and efficiency, whilst amplifying accessibility and responsiveness.


But alongside the productivity gains, email has also been making people miserable. It can create a sense of overwhelm and drain cognitive resources. Efficiency (i.e. higher output) has not always translated into higher effectiveness.


Part of the problem is that email has entered the organisational culture in an unregimented way. Few organisations hold explicit conversations about what the desired and undesirable behaviours are when it comes to email, and what the email’s rightful place in the organisation’s internal and external communication is.


This often results in swelling inboxes, email overload and workers’ energy strained by chain email conversations. According to McKinsey’s analysis, the average professional spends 28% of the workday reading and answering emails, processing 120 messages per day over 2.6 hours.


It is at least in part because an email culture has not been explicitly set up and discussed and people unwittingly contribute to the problem with poor email behaviour and habits, which cause frustration and waste time. Receiving a response to an email becomes rare or takes a long time, which creates bottlenecks. Many resort to various coping mechanisms that provide short-term relief for them but may exacerbate issues for the entire team.


Email burnout has become an increasingly frequent but largely unrecognised modern phenomenon.



The ‘Email: a Friend of a Foe?’ workshop is designed to support managers in their efforts to create a healthy email culture and recapture the original purpose of email – using it as a helpful tool to boost productivity and effectiveness across an organisation.


During the workshop the participants:

  • Learn concepts from cognitive psychology on information processing that are relevant to email;
  • Discuss potential traps that come with using email for internal and external communications: why and how it can drain cognitive resources and decrease effectiveness;
  • Reflect on why people engage in various types of behaviour when it comes to email;
  • Discuss various strategies and alternatives that can be used to counteract email issues, and reflect on their pros and cons;
  • Find out about the principles of driving organisational change: what is needed to shift towards a positive email culture.



If you are looking to move forward on issues other than email in an efficient way, check out ‘Solution Accelerator’: our highly effective workshop that assists a team in finding solutions to various problems and supports them in designing an action plan for various projects ahead using the power of collective intelligence.


If your team experiences challenges working together due to internal or external pressures, check out our ‘Unlocking Teams’ workshop. If you’d like to make sure that people communicate from a place of openness and empathy in your team, see our ‘Collaborative Communication‘ workshop.

Next training

Occasionally we run workshops that are open to individual participation, in an online version.

Register your interest here:


Better management

communication, effectiveness, efficiency, organisational culture, performance, problem-solving, relationships, well-being