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Seb Anthony

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Changing Users Emailing Behaviour


I'm to begin developing a workshop that will address not only more effective use of email technology (i.e. Outlook 2000) but the behaviours associated with it. The common cry I hear from users is the inability to cope with their email load, particularly when out of the office for a day or more.
It seems that what was meant to help us manage our daily workload is now adding to our frustration and increasing stress levels within the workplace.
My brief is to introduce users to time saving email techniques but also to try and reduce their email load by having them consider changing their behaviours e.g. consider picking up the phone rather than exchanging 4-5 emails on a topic.
So, if anyone else has done anything similar I'd be interested to hear yourexperiences/learnings etc
Oh and BTW we already have an email code of conduct in place.


Stephanie Nand

2 Responses

  1. Some e-mail hints and tips
    Hi Stephanie,
    Some hints and tips on managing email which I use in time management training…
    1. Do it now! Act on and respond to your emails the first time you read them.
    2. Delete it now! Don’t let your in box become cluttered with messages you’ve read
    3. Store messages you do keep in correct computer directory – not in your in-box
    4. Check your email at regular times during the day – turn off the notification or bleep telling you that new mail has arrived… biggest time saving tip!
    5. Get off as many distribution lists as you can
    6. Use formal language + end messages with No Reply Needed to discourage responses you don’t need
    7. Reply to sender only where you can, not to everybody ccd in.
    8. Save and re-use responses to questions you get asked frequently

    Email has become one of the top ten causes of stress in the workplace…so I guess there can be real value in managing e-mail rather than letting e-mail manage you!

  2. Been there, done that!
    We recently moved 2,000 users from Novell Groupwise to Outlook 2000. I produced some hints and tips myself, the ones that are different from Marion’s are as follows:

    1. I agree with Marion that you should reply to emails first time you open them, but don’t feel you have to open them as soon as they arrive. As soon as people know you only check emails first thing in the morning and last thing at night, they’ll stop using email during the day for urgent things, they’ll call you – so less emails!
    2. Don’t feel obliged to give a comprehensive reply – saves time and storage space.
    3. Only certain people in the organisation should be allowed to send global emails, not everybody.
    4. Allocate storage space to each person’s mailbox. When it’s exceeded, they can’t send until they prune it (works for us despite the initial wailing…).
    5. Avoid conversational emails where a line is added each time.
    6. Don’t be afraid of giving each other feedback about email habits.


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