At EG Photo & Studio in East Greenwich a typical day means proofing hundreds of images and e-mailing them to clients. Owner Soozie Sundlun says sifting through her inbox has become a vital part of her work.
"I'm much more of a person that would like to call, or like to have a conversation with people," said Sundlun. "But in this fast paced world everybody's busy, busy."
As the e-mails pour in the more time Sundlun and her staff spend answering them. And turns out they're not alone.
According to a new study by the McKinsey Global Institute, the average worker spends more than a quarter of her day interacting with e-mail. That makes it the most time consuming task of the day.
Jack Falvey is a manager at the East Greenwich business and says he can't begin his day without working his way through his in box.
"it's definitely something I have to keep and eye on all day or I'll fall behind," said Falvey.
Some businesses say the hours spent e-mailing could interfere with accomplishing other tasks. The study says the answer isn't to ignore the world. Instead they suggest companies should turn to social networking to help decrease the amount of time spent on e-mail. In fact, analysts say productivity would soar 20 - 25%.
It's an opportunity Sundlun says her small business is taking advantage of. They use Facebook to interact with clients. Still, Sundlun says she isn't ready to give up on e-mail.
"I don't think so," said Sundlun. "I wouldn't want try. I mean people are really, really dependent on it."