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The American Inbox: The Modern State of Email in the Workplace

Author's avatar By Robert Allen 02 Mar, 2017
Essential Essential topic

Chart of the Day: How often do Americans open and send emails per day?

The American worker spends a lot of time checking their email. All across the country people are spending large blocks of their workday in their inbox. But what exactly does the typical American inbox at work look like?

Email marketing company Reachmail surveyed one thousand American workers who consider email significant to their job. The survey focused on 4 core areas relating to email use at work:

  • How often American’s are checking their email at work
  • How many emails they send per day
  • How quickly that they respond to emails
  • How many emails are unread in a typical inbox

The goal of the survey was to get a better look at how American’s deal with email while at work. As a result of the survey, they discovered several interesting trends.

Checking Email

The survey found that 54% of Americans check their email multiple times per day and 30% having their email constantly open throughout the day. Only 16% of American’s check only once per day. The Northeast was the worst region in the United States in terms of having their email open constantly with 37% of surveyed respondents.

When it comes to the time of day people check their email the most, 71% of Americans first check their work email between 5AM and 7AM. An even more surprising stat is that 70% of Americans check their email after 6PM, typically after most people leave the office for the day.

Sent Emails

Nearly half of all Americans (46%) send fewer than 10 emails per day. Again the Northeast tops all regions averaging 22 emails per day. Only 8% of American’s send more than 50 emails per day. The median seems to be between 10-25 emails per day for most people.

Response Time

58% of Americans say that they respond to emails typically within 1 hour. The slowest to respond are New Yorkers who average a day or more to respond. Most American’s typically respond between 1-6 hours to work emails.

Unread Emails

Over half of Americans have fewer than 10 unread emails in their inbox. The Midwest had the least cluttered inbox with an average of 17 unread emails. Only a small percentage of Americans (6%) have between 50-100 unread emails on average in their inbox.


Author's avatar

By Robert Allen

Rob Allen is Marketing Manager for Numiko, a digital agency that design and build websites for purpose driven organisations, such as the Science Museum Group, Cancer Research UK, University of London and the Electoral Commission. Rob was blog editor at Smart Insights from 2015-2017. You can follow Rob on LinkedIn.

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