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Email Behavior in 2017: When, Where, and How People Check Messages

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Most American adults check both their work and personal email every few hours throughout the day, according to recent research from Adobe.

The report was based on data from a survey conducted in July 2017 among 1,007 white-collar workers in the United States age 18 and older who own a smartphone.

Some 44% of respondents say they check their business email every few hours outside of work, and 51% say they check their personal email every few hours while at work.

Just 20% of respondents say they never check their business email outside normal work hours, and only 10% say they never check their personal email while at work.


Most white-collar workers (74%) check their business email before arriving at the office: 26% check while still in bed in the morning, 37% check while getting ready/eating breakfast, and 11% check while commuting.

Some 69% of respondents say they have checked email while watching TV or a movie in the past month, 54% have checked while in bed, and 46% have checked while on vacation.

Desktop computers remain the primary device via which most people (62%) check work email.

However, most white-collar workers (59%) now use their smartphone as the primary device to check personal email.

Work emails are more likely than personal emails to be opened, the survey found. Nearly half of respondents (46%) say they open 100% of their work emails.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey conducted in July 2017 among 1,007 white-collar workers in the United States age 18 and older who own a smartphone.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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