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Electronic mail has revolutionized office communication. The ability to send messages almost instantaneously is an advantage in a fast-paced and changing workplace. There are, however, drawbacks to emails. One of the biggest problems is the sheer number of messages that clutter your inbox. Too many emails distract you and your employees from more pressing tasks. Take control of the amount of electronic mailings in your business so everyone can get back to work.
Direct your employees to only send emails that are specific and necessary to the workplace. Tell employees that they should not send personal emails through their workplace email account. HCS Technology Group reminds business people that emails at work are for business purposes only and not for rumors, jokes or chain mailings. You might allow your employees to send personal messages to others during breaks, but they should access their private accounts to do so.
Ask your employees to meet about issues that require a back-and-forth conversation rather than addressing multiple emails to one another or to you. Set a rule that the employee needs to address the issue in person if an issue requires more than one reply.
Encourage workers to group non-urgent emails in a single mailing. Stever Robbins, writing for the Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge website, recommends combing lots of little points into a single mailing. Advise employees to be clear and concise with each issue and to add a space between separate topics so the messages will be clear.
Instruct everyone in the office to refrain from “nicety” emails that are really not necessary. These include messages that say no more than “have a great day” or ones that state “good idea” or “thanks for telling me.” Express your appreciation for your employees encouraging one another, but ask them to do it in person when the opportunity arises.
Hold a short business meeting each morning with your workers so you can address the matters needed to begin the day. This will help reduce the number of emails you might typically send and receive each morning.
Create a weekly newsletter to which employees can contribute that covers happenings in the workplace. This way you and others can remain current on events without having to send out extra emails throughout the week.
- Unsubscribe from emails you receive from sources that are not important to your small business and encourage your workers to do the same.
- Declare a “no email” day so you and your employees can see the impact, both good and bad, that electronic mails have in a typical day at work.
- Do not suppress emails to the point at which employees fear sending important messages in this fast and efficient way. Explain to them that electronic mailings are an important way of communicating as long as they don’t overuse or misuse the practice.
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