An important tool that most of us in the workplace used on a day to day basis. Like most forms of communication, we use e-mail to: set up meetings, send important messages and send instructions to our colleagues and peers.
It’s a necessary devil in our lives that (mostly) helps us to save time and avoid (although not always) meetings that really should just e-mails. Of course, the way people use e-mail leaves a lot to be desired and more often than not, you often tend to find yourself in a spiral of message threads that should have stopped after three emails max.
Of all the crimes that people commit when using e-mail, the six things below top the list of most annoying things to do when you’re e-mailing.
1. Cc’ing in everybody
Look, I don’t want to sound like the resident e-mail grinch, but being cc’d in on e-mails that you don’t have to be a part of, is exactly the same as being stuck in a conversation that you just can’t get out of.
It’s a hostage situation that we don’t ask for and one that leaves you feeling like you’re caught in an infinity loop. One that isn’t wanted and one that we certainly don’t ask to be part of.
The worst thing about the constant back and forth between e-mails is that it eats up the time you could use to do some productive work instead. We get that at times, being cc’d in on an e-mail is a necessity, but if it’s an e-mail that’s non-related to work, or doesn’t require input from any other party except the necessary ones, then don’t do it.
2. Including inspirational quotes
It’s 2016 and people are still including “Shoot for the moon and reach for the stars” quotes in their e-mail signature. Don’t do it people.
Look, it’s not that I’m against inspirational quotes per se, but I do think they have a time and place. That time and place? Definitely not in an e-mail signature.
Keep within your company’s branding – remember in the corporate world, keeping up a professional image counts in every way. Your signature says more than you think.
3. Calling the person to ask if they’ve received your e-mail
We know that following up on emails is part of many people’s jobs. But if you phone someone literally two minutes after you’ve sent an email to enquire whether the person received that email you look impatient and rude, and you’re also implying that the recipient of your e-mail should have dropped everything in order to respond to you.
It’s a different matter if something is urgent (in which case you should probably phone first and then email), or if the person hasn’t responded after a day or two, but if you’ve just sent the e-mail, don’t be that person insists someone reads your e-mail within the first minute of it just coming through.
4. The reply all button
This one’s as bad as being cc’d in on e-mails you don’t need to be copied in on, simply because it is the start of a potential thread that could easily blow out of proportion and flood your inbox with a flurry of unnecessary messages that was only meant for one person in the first place.