British workers now deal with 10,000 emails a year

British workers are drowning under a tide of email - with average UK office workers now dealing with 10,000 messages a year, or 40 a day.

One worker in 12 deals with 100 messages a day, and one in ten of us now spend the entire working day attached to either a computer or a mobile phone, according to research by Warwick Business School.

Older office technologies are suffering as a result - with one in ten workers no longer using the phone at work. One in five never puts pen to paper in the office.

Will Skillman from Warwick Business School said: “Since the 1950s, technology in the workplace has changed dramatically from telephones and typewriters to advanced personal computers, mobile communications equipment and tablet devices.”

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A recent poll of 7,000 LinkedIn users found that nearly three-quarters of professionals expected fax machines to disappear from offices within the next decade.

Skillman, who produced the report in collaboration with npower's Remember How We Used to Work picture archive said that it was not clear that the increasing 'speed' of communication was positive for productivity.

“Yet what isn’t clear is whether this technology-powered workplace is directly helping to improve how we work or if we are just replacing old technologies with new."

"Certainly the rise of the mobile office means that workers can stay plugged in on the move and for longer periods of time - but whether this has resulted in a more productive workforce remains to be seen.”

Office technology has evolved rapidly in the past fifty years - with email only becoming a standard means of communication in the Nineties.

In 1962 there were just 10,000 computers in the world - room-sized machines where data was entered using punch cards.

Most offices still used mechanical calculators until the Seventies - with early electronic calculators highly expensive. Sinclair's Executive model, on sale in 1972, cost £79 plus VAT - the equivalent of three weeks' wages.

Even in the Eighties, typewriters, word processors and fax machines dominated many offices - and PCs and email only became standard in the Nineties.