A great new acronym has emerged to describe such people, STOICs, which stands for Sick Though Often Inbox Checking.
I do think many managers and staff are overwhelmed with emails and that organizations could do a lot more from a systems point of view and to support employees with managing communication technologies. I've noticed that people just completely fail to respond to important emails much more often than they did a few years ago.
As a natural worrier, what crosses my mind is 'have I done something wrong? or 'maybe they just don't like me?'. But the reality is nearly always that their inbox is full or they are simply overloaded with communications, most of which are irrelevant. So more often now, for important stuff, I find myself reverting to the good old phone.
Recently, there has been publicity about organizations grasping the nettle with this and stopping the constant flow of emails. Or maybe (sharp intake of breath) we don't need our blackberry's and smartphones to be on all the time? Or maybe even more radically, we could take the decision to ditch them to gain some mind-space back and work more creatively and effectively...