French Tech Company Declares ‘Zero Email’ Policy

thierry breton French Tech Company Declares Zero Email Policy

Le email!

French enterprise IT firm Atos has banned employees from sending emails to each other, ABC News reports, in an amazing blow in the battle against email. CEO Thierry Breton, who was the French finance minister from 2005 to 2007, apparently loathes the stuff, claiming just 10 percent of the 200 messages employees receive a day are useful and 18 percent are spam. Mr. Breton told the Wall Street Journal he has not sent an email in three years.

Atos employees now have 18 months to wean themselves off email, using instant messaging and a “Facebook-style interface,” instead. Employees have reportedly already succeeded in cutting email bloat by 20 percent in six months.

How much do we love this company? And how much do we love their Twitter? This much, we tell you. Side note: Computer Weekly just awarded the Atos CIO Agenda blog, which features topics such as “How to win when you don’t know the rules,” the “2011 CIO blogger of the year” designation. Congratulations on your lifestyle change, Atos.


  1. Brilliant – it’s a message we at Mesmo Consultancy have been preaching to our clients for years.  Create no email zones internally and you will be amazed at how much time you can save and how much richer the communications become internally.

    If you are using an instant messaging type tool you do need to be careful that this too does not interupt people unecessarily as that will defeat the time savings made from not emailing internal people.

    1. Williams G_gebrel says:

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  2. Mark Hachman says:

    Not sure why there’s all this fuss today. They announced this nine months ago.

  3. Rainy_68 says:

    Was Mr. Breton’s reason for this ban because of unnecessary emails that are sent or are the messages disrupting his employees too much?

    One big benefit of email is it is a way to track and document communiques. A Microsoft Exchange server that is correctly configured can be a very powerful tool for a company to track important messages. If a company were to move to instant messaging, that program would need to log all messages, as Microsoft Lync does. I’ve checked previous messages that way before to confirm what I thought my manager or a fellow employee communicated to me. (No, I’m not a huge MS fan, but it’s what we have here at work.)

    It is my understanding that healthcare companies MUST have their own internal email server, to track all messages, for HIPAA purposes.

    I understand that email can be disruptive, but there must be another way for people to communicate and document important messages.  It’s called CMA. You figure it out.

    The kitten and angel emails  have no place in the workplace, either do any kind of solicitation, unless for fundraising activities, if that is approved by a company’s management. People can and will abuse any form of communication available to them. It’s up to management to deal with such abuse.

    There is software for this. It will stop email with certain words or parameters in it. It depends on how the software is configured.