Co-workers have high expectations for email response times

Update: This study was repeated in April, 2018. The new study includes response time expectations for Twitter and Facebook messages. You can read the latest results here.

Nearly 75% of us expect co-workers to respond to emails within four hours or less, according to a recent survey conducted by Toister Performance Solutions, Inc. Almost 25% of respondents are particularly impatient, saying the expected co-workers to respond to emails within one hour. 


We give businesses a little more time to respond than our co-workers. The majority of survey respondents (63%) indicated they expected business to respond to their emails within one day.


The survey also tried to see if different generations of workers had different expectations for email response times. Expectations across all generations were similar for businesses, but Gen Ys (born 1978 or later) tended to expect faster response times from their co-workers. Nearly 35% of Gen Y respondents said they expected co-workers to respond to their emails within one hour:


The survey also asked how quickly people expected their friends to respond to emails. Here, there was a bit more leeway with more than 90% of the respondents saying 1 day or later.

What are your impressions?

Our expectations for response times clearly have some implications on customer service, both external (emailing businesses) or internal (emailing co-workers). Your thoughts and comments are most welcome.