Interview: Teresa Messemer, Corporate Human Resources at Evonik
panagenda iDNA for Email provides companies with a comprehensive insight into email traffic and email activity on the desktop as on mobile devices during and outside of business hours. This helps gain important insights into the strain on employees and, if necessary, to initiate important measures to prevent burnout.
Burnout costs the worldwide economy 330 billion US dollars every year. — WHO
Already in 2014, Evonik published the report “Email brake after work shows nationwide effect” and introduced the process for the protection of their employees. In a world of constant reachability, sufficient R&R is no longer guaranteed. Evonik has also met its pioneering role in this area by establishing important measures. As such, we are very pleased that Ms. Teresa Messemer agreed to share her experiences in an interview on the use of panagenda iDNA.
Please describe the aim of the project for which you are using panagenda iDNA?
The compatibility of work and family life as well as the creation of a healthy and motivating work environment have top priority at Evonik. As a result, the topic of constant reachability of employees is often discussed. Due to the increased use of mobile devices compared to even a few years ago, this is an ever-growing challenge. Since 2013, we have implemented company-wide guidelines to protect employees from the negative effects of increased pressure due to the feeling of constant reachability. These principles apply to all of our approximately 21,000 employees in Germany who use more than 17,000 mobile devices.
You describe iDNA for Email as an ’email brake’ or ’email speedometer’. What insights and measured values are particularly important to you?
With the aim of promoting the responsible use of mobile devices – and ultimately protecting the health of our employees – we are especially interested in data showing the percentage of email activity outside of working hours and on weekends. We also collect absolute numbers to distinguish between emails sent and received. Of course, we only collect this data for larger units so that no conclusions can be drawn in regard to individual employees.
Taking into account the visualization of email traffic over time, which trends do you recognize since having implemented the email speedometer?
We have been using the email speedometer since 2014 resulting in a noticeable decline in email volume outside of working hours and especially at the weekend. Ever since, we’ve kept email traffic during these times at a relatively low level. As soon as we notice that the percentage exceeds a slight fluctuation range, we step in. This shows that the email brake also works in practice.
In which aspects does iDNA for Email support you in developing social business and social collaboration strategies?
Improving communication structures is an ongoing process that is important to the success of our company. We are already feeling the shift in communication from pure emails to social business platforms. This means that the email traffic alone will no longer be able to adequately reflect the activities of the employees on mobile devices – and thus also their strain outside of working hours. We are therefore planning to include these platforms in our ‘speedometer’.
Ms. Teresa Messemer
Corporate Human Resources at Evonik