This article is an oldie but it is still a current issue for most companies in terms of employee time wasters.
Email inboxes are both a blessing and a curse! More and more business is being conducted solely through email these days, so there's no way we can just tell people to ignore their inbox. So now what?! As with casual Internet browsing, there's some simple techniques that you can teach your people, helping them spend less time wading through endless streams of email. Through prioritizing their inbox they can quickly and effectively focus on emails that are important business matters first. Many times as we work with individuals, we find that they have not implemented any of the basic tools to organize email. This is an easy fix simply by using basic folders and inbox rules to route and prioritize emails assuring that critical business items get attended to first.
I agree with the article that "reply all" can more of a hindrance than a resource. I have found that something as simple as teaching people when (and when not) to hit the "reply all" button can make the difference between productive, effective email communication, and a time waster email. We've all been privy to those instances that turn into endless shotgun blasts of emails where nobody is really sure what is going on, who is responsible, or even which is the latest communication in the thread. I don't agree completely with some businesses whose response is to completely move away from email for internal communication, although collaboration tools like MS Teams or Slack are wonderful options. In my opinion, there's no need to throw out the baby with the bathwater here. You can improve productivity by implementing just some simple guidelines for when to use "reply all". Read the article "Arm Yourself With Education" for a few of my favorite tips.
If you have tried training and it's still a frustration then it good time to let us show you some of the collaboration software tools that exist that can tame this time wasting beast.