A week without email is more stressful than moving house, a car crash, getting married or divorced, Veritas reports.

Research conducted among 850 IT staff showed a third of people think losing email is more traumatic than domestic catastrophe.

Functioning email systems are so critical that 68 per cent of company users get irate within as little as 30 minutes without email access, and IT managers think their jobs would be at risk if they didn't get the system fixed within 24 hours.

With the technology becoming increasingly more critical for business, the researchers found deficiencies in email system management, backup and recovery methods – and these deficiencies also cause workplace stress.

Half those surveyed would have difficulty retrieving individual emails if required, even though 99 per cent of companies backup their email over half of those don't backup all of it. Only 18 per cent of companies can recover mail from further back than a year – and one in ten companies can only recover email from across the previous week.

Research was carried out among 850 IT managers in companies with over 500 staff from across Europe, US, Switzerland, South Africa, Poland and the Middle East.