We wanted to learn about how remote workers are dealing with distractions, work communication, and overwhelm. So we surveyed them, and the findings lay bare the problems brought about by digital communication. (Side note: we surveyed non-Superhuman users.)
Here's what we found:
- 30% of remote workers said work communications like email were their biggest distraction.
- 31% said a day without email would be the best work day for them.
- 63% said they were more likely to respond immediately to an email from their boss than a text from a loved one.
- 22% said they wanted to leave their job because of the volume of emails they received.
- Nearly half (49%) of remote workers said they'd rather scrub a bathroom than sort through 10 days worth of unopened emails.
It's clear we're all on email overload! The average employee spends around three hours per day on email. Multiply that by your whole team, and it adds up to a lot of stress, distraction, and wasted time.
There has to be a better way — and there is! Inbox Zero training can help your own team learn how to control their inbox (rather than letting it control them). And by learning how to achieve and maintain Inbox Zero, your team can become happier and more productive. Read on for everything you need to know…
What is Inbox Zero?
You've probably already heard of Inbox Zero, a popular approach to email management that's become more common — and more talked about — since it was created in the early 2000s.
Those who are aiming for Inbox Zero try to keep their email inbox empty — or as close to empty as possible — at all times. But Inbox Zero doesn't only refer to your efforts to have zero emails in your inbox. Its creator, Merlin Mann, said the "Zero" part of the name is actually a reference to "the amount of time an employee's brain is in his inbox".
When he created the system, Mann's ultimate goal wasn't just to reduce the number of emails he had to deal with. He wanted to spend less time and energy on email every day, and he achieved that with his system that allows you to get control of your inbox — not the other way around.
Mann described Inbox Zero as an "action-based email" the first time he described it on his productivity blog, 43 Folders, in 2004.
"Clearly, the problem of email overload is taking a toll on all our time, productivity, and sanity, mainly because most of us lack a cohesive system for processing our messages and converting them into appropriate actions as quickly as possible", he wrote at the time.
Since then, Mann has given a Google Tech Talk about Inbox Zero, as well as written an entire book on the subject. His idea of Inbox Zero took off, and today, there are all kinds of resources, apps, tools, and more that can help you and your team learn how to achieve Inbox Zero. There's even specific Inbox Zero training, but more on that in a minute…
How can the Inbox Zero method help my team work better?
Achieving Inbox Zero (and then maintaining it) can have impacts that ripple out beyond just your inbox.
Let's revisit those statistics about email from the beginning of this article. Here's how Inbox Zero helps address each one of them.
When considering Inbox Zero training for your team, think about this: the effects of email overload are multiplied by every member of your team — that means that the benefits of Inbox Zero are multiplied too.
If learning Inbox Zero methods can save you three hours per week on email (and it can!), then multiply that by everyone on your team. A team of 10 people would save 30 hours per week. A team of 20 people would save 60 hours per week. A team of 50? 150 hours each week.
Just think about all that extra time for getting things done. What could your team achieve with an extra 150 hours per week?
Is Inbox Zero training really necessary?
Achieving and maintaining Inbox Zero is a skill, and like any skill, it needs to be learned and practiced. That's why Inbox Zero training is not only the fastest way to get your entire team to Inbox Zero, but the best way to make sure everyone on your team is using consistent, best-practice methods for managing emails.
Luckily, Superhuman can help you and your team lay an Inbox Zero foundation through 1:1 onboardings, where each member learns important skills they need to reach — and stay at — Inbox Zero.
While scheduling a half-hour meeting for every member of your team might seem like a lot of time and logistical work, think of the 30 minutes each employee spends in their onboarding as an investment. This is like a personal training session that will pay off when each team member is able to save hours each week in time they used to spend on email.
Our Onboarding Specialists are workflow coaches who live and breathe email productivity. They'll tailor each training session to each member of your team, creating an email experience that's perfect for them. We'll get them to Inbox Zero, and then teach them all the tools, strategies, and powerful keyboard shortcuts they need to stay there.Try Superhuman for Business
Here's how a Superhuman onboarding session will look for each member of your team, step by step.
Step 1: Customizing your inbox (and your Inbox Zero approach)
The first thing your onboarding specialist will do is listen to the team member they're working with. They'll get a good sense of their goals and pain points with their current Gmail inbox, and then design a customized plan to help.
But more than that, we teach you the techniques and methodology you need to get through your inbox twice as fast — while meeting your goals and addressing your pain points.
Want to be more responsive to important incoming emails? We can help with that. Want to keep crucial messages from slipping through the cracks? We're on it. Want to be less stressed, keep your working life separate from personal time, and practice better time management in your inbox and beyond? We want that for you too — and will help you get there.
As you actually use Superhuman for the first time, your onboarding specialist will guide you, teaching you how to set up an inbox that works for your goals and needs, and then how to navigate it quickly and easily with keyboard commands. You can split your inbox, set reminders, unsubscribe, and archive in bulk, sort and use labels to identify different types of emails — whatever you need to reach your email goals in just a few minutes.Try Superhuman for Business
Step 2: Using keyboard shortcuts to make email fun
When you start your 1:1 Inbox Zero training session, you'll be given a challenge: "Don't touch your mouse". That's because Superhuman has a powerful library of keyboard shortcuts to help you navigate your new, customized inbox — and because it's so much faster that way.
Your onboarding specialist will help you build the habit by reminding you throughout the session to leave your mouse alone — helping you practice important keyboard shortcuts along the way. Each time you use a shortcut, it will not only help you save time — it will also strengthen your flow, which is the state of concentrated productivity that helps you move through tasks quickly and easily. This is how Superhuman turns your inbox into something fun — like a game, you'll want to keep practicing every day.
As you learn all about Superhuman's keyboard shortcuts, there's one that will become the most important for you: Cmd+K. This brings up Superhuman Command, a powerful library that helps you do anything in your inbox without touching your mouse.
Whether you want to compose a new email, archive an old one, use a snippet, or set yourself a reminder, all you have to do is hit Cmd+K and type it in. Superhuman will then teach you the keyboard shortcut for that action, so next time, you'll be even faster.
This is another way that Superhuman turns email into something fun: shortcuts become a game of discovery! The more you discover, the faster you can move through your inbox. Every day brings a new challenge and new opportunities to learn and become faster!
And Superhuman's game design will only be more fun when your entire team is involved. It's fun to compete with yourself to keep up your Inbox Zero streak week after week — it's even more fun when it becomes a friendly competition with your coworkers!
Step 3: Make your Superhuman experience your own
One of the great things about Superhuman is how customizable it is — everyone on your team can use the experience in ways that are most helpful to them.
Take, for example, Superhuman user Ivanha, who has adapted her inbox to help her with task management, too.
"After using Superhuman for a few weeks I now have a system with my 'reminders'", she shared. "As soon as I remember something I have to do, even if it's something like 'go to Costco to get glasses fixed', I'll set a reminder for a specific date and time when I know I'll be able to get to it and it doesn't clutter my mind!"
Now imagine if every member of your team were empowered to customize their inbox to maximize their own productivity. Think of how much more you could all accomplish — together!
Get Inbox Zero training for your team—join Superhuman today
30 minutes per team member is all it takes to get the Inbox Zero training that will save each member of your team at least three hours per week. Just think about all the time you'll get back — and how much happier and less stressed your team can be after removing so much stress and distraction from their workday.
Scheduling Inbox Zero training as a team adds one more huge benefit to using Superhuman: you'll all have built-in accountability buddies. Team members can check in on one another and see how they're doing, plus share new tips and tricks as they learn them. And don't worry — your onboarding specialist will also reach out from time to time, and can answer questions whenever you need.
Ready to get the best possible Inbox Zero training for your whole team? Here's what will happen next:
- Each member of your team reserves a video call at a time that works for them.
- Each member spends 30 minutes working 1:1 with an Onboarding Specialist to customize their inbox, learn to use Superhuman, and see how they can reach Inbox Zero while hitting other email goals and easing pain points.
- Your entire team keeps practicing — together — sharing tips and tricks as you learn them that will make all of you faster, more efficient, and more productive email users.
Are you ready for everyone on your team to cut their time spent on email in half? That's what will happen during Inbox Zero training with Superhuman. Join today — and get ready to lift your entire team to the next level of email productivity.