When people first started receiving email, it was exciting! On any day when you got an email you thought, “Oh, I got an email!” Then, when you got about five emails a day you could still be pretty darn thrilled. But now that you’re at the point of receiving 100 to 150 emails a day or more (and many, many executives get far more than that), it’s just not quite as thrilling, is it?
This high number of daily emails does not include spam or the other ridiculous emails that you have filters to screen out GoDaddy email login. So to rephrase this number and its impact, consider this: Most professionals today receive over a hundred potentially-actionable emails every day. Given this, let’s just say that the excitement about receiving email has probably subsided for most of us, right? Here are some ideas to help you reduce the overall number of emails that even show up in your in-box:
Out-of-office replies: Determine that these will be used sparingly, if at all. When people are going to be out of the office for about 30 minutes and they set up their email to send “I’m out of the office,” my first thought is, ‘You’re not that important.’ My second thought is, ‘How many people are receiving this extra email for no reason?’ If someone is going to be out of the country for a month, then maybe they need to send an “Out of office” reply. If many companies, agencies, or universities determined that the ‘best practice’ is NOT to broadcast “Out of office” replies, it would almost halve the number of emails that were sent and received.
Other related policies: Is it alright at your organization for people to send recipes, cartoons, YouTube clips? Is that something you think companies are paying people to do? Usually the answer is no, and an extraordinary amount of time, energy, and organization resources are spent on that. I think companies, schools, departments, and other work units need to talk about this to set a policy. It’s not that you’re putting a clamp on people, but it is acknowledging , “We’re paying you to be here 3, 8, 9, 10 hours and this is not coffee klatch. We’re trying to get some work done here.” Other times companies don’t care what people do, but I think folks need to consider that.