Casual Friday Includes Less Email at Ice Miller

What would happen if you stopped sending emails for a day? What would the reaction be if you made a phone call or personal visit every time you needed to speak with a coworker, supplier or client? Ice Miller, LLP, a MAPP Partner, found positive results with its No Email Fridays.

Ice Miller, LLP, first learned of No Email Fridays from one of its health system clients that had implemented the policy at its facility. According to H. Alan Rothenbuecher, formerly a partner for Ice Miller’s Cleveland, Ohio, office and now a partner with Benesch Law, “The General Counsel said the policy was well received at his hospital. It got people to talk to each other again, made them walk to each other’s offices to talk, pick up the phone to talk live and otherwise just interact with each other outside of the e-communication world. People actually talked to each other for longer and interacted with each other as we should in our society. Everyone’s people skills got better instead of regressing or becoming stagnant.” After reviewing the benefits, Ice Miller decided to test No Email Fridays for certain of its own employees. After seeing many positive results, a year later the firm is discussing making the policy mandatory firm-wide.

Employees at Ice Miller love the new policy. “Some outliers always will send emails, but even those outliers send less than they did before,” Rothenbuecher explained. Emailing is a hard habit to break, even for a day. For the most part, however, people have come to embrace the change and Rothenbuecher reported that personal interaction has increased significantly. “With personal interaction has come increased business,” he went on to say. “We, and our clients, are doing better through live interaction, understanding each other and actually talking through issues versus trying to interpret written sentences. The interaction of questions and answers on a live basis allows for greater understanding and promotes efficiency.” Employees have experienced other benefits as well, such as getting more exercise as a result of needing to walk to another office to convey messages.

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Dianna Brodine

Managing Editor at Plastics Business Magazine
Dianna Brodine is the managing editor of Plastics Business magazine – the official publication of the Manufacturers Association of Plastics Processors. She can be reached at 785.271.5801.

One thought on “Casual Friday Includes Less Email at Ice Miller”

  1. Very interesting. Not sure if it only involves internal email communication or does it apply to customers, suppliers and people’s email outside of the company?
    Thanks for sharing

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