Summary of “The Most Honest Out-of-Office Message”

Research has shown that returning to email after a brief hiatus can be stressful.
In a 2012 study, Gloria Mark, a professor at the University of California at Irvine who studies how information-technology use affects people, prohibited some office workers from using email at all for one workweek, and let others maintain their usual use.
The best part is, Mark and her colleagues had trouble recruiting participants who were willing to go without email for five days.
In the case of the out-of-office message I received, my implicit commitment to email, to the whole system, was so fixed that when I witnessed someone trying to break free, it felt wrong.
“It’s a little cynical, I know, but I typically see emails as an uneven balance of trade,” Peck says.
Mark has found in her research that email maintenance is about being in control; for some, the closer we get to inbox zero, the more say we feel we have over a never-ending stream of communications.
“If one person drops of out of email, it kind of breaks that system and leads to people getting upset, and the burden is going to be distributed maybe unevenly.”
I had a similar reaction two years ago when my colleague Jim Hamblin suggested a new approach to email etiquette, aimed at reducing the amount of time we spend on email.

The orginal article.