Bad Email Habits

In a recent post we discussed some of the top bad habits used with email. There are a few more that deserve to be mentioned that can cause trouble and are equally as annoying.

Forgetting to use an “out-of-office” message when out of the office during a non-typical vacation time can cause problems. The automated message should contain a backup contact name and/or an emergency contact method. If someone is trying to send important time-sensitive information, and it appears to be “ignored” for a few days, it can be damaging to the business or academic relationship at hand.

Carbon copying too many people into emails can also be frustrating. This can apply to text messaging as well. My family is quite large and often has group text messages and email threads with up to 20 people. This can cause constant and unwanted phone notifications with message threads that run on for hours. I love them but not that much. The same thing can be said for hitting reply-all when your message isn’t intended for all of the recipients. For listservs and group emails this can be important to remember, especially if the information is confidential or sensitive.  This is also important when forwarding email threads. If an email thread is being forwarded, it’s important that sensitive information isn’t deeply buried in the thread and that the pertinent information is easily accessible.

Lastly, double-checking and reading through an email before hitting send is a good way to check and see if what you are sending is what you originally intended. This applies to content, attachments, and tone of voice. Since the tone of some messages can be misconstrued, coming off as “too” nice in an email can’t hurt. Email won’t be going away anytime soon, so remembering to use it effectively is crucial.