Leadership

A new study shows why you dread writing emails so much

Despite the advent of instant messaging at work and the hundreds of emails received by the average employee every day, American workers still prefer classic electronic mail, a recent survey shows.

Fundera, a financial services firm for small businesses, looked into how communication at work could be more productive by understanding what people really think about email. Based on a survey of 1000 workers, here's what Fundera found:

Americans still prefer email...

Email takes up nearly a quarter of the average American employee's workday, but it's still the preferred method of communicating with others. Workplace expert Leigh Stringer tells CNBC Make It that when email is used effectively, like for setting up meetings or communicating action-oriented requests, it simplifies your life.

After email, the next most preferred way of communicating is through in-person conversations. Fundera found that how much you prefer a certain type of communication also depends on your industry.

...but worry about their tone

One of the reasons you might waste time writing an email is figuring out how to phrase it.

Stringer says email is best used to accomplish quick goals, such as sharing documents or setting up meetings and deadlines, adding, "a long email is a signal you're using the wrong communication tool."

Fundera finds millennials, baby boomers and Gen Xers all feel concerned about others misinterpreting the tone of what they have written in their emails. Overall, the firm finds millennials were most concerned about miscommunication over tone.

Workplace expert Dan Schawbel tells CNBC Make It: "One of the biggest mistakes is treating everyone at work like they are your friends and writing casual emails, instead of knowing your audience and then shaping your language, the length and the tone of the email to that individual."

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