One of the greatest pet peeves that I have in this wonderful world of Technology that we live in is ANYONE who feels the need to use Reply-All on EVERY Email that comes into their inbox. This issue has long been the bane of my existence and has caused more frustrated fist shakes and muted curses at my computer monitor than any other Tech Faux-Pas that occur in the office place. Amazingly I have been waiting to do a series on Technology Blunders for a while but when one of my respected colleagues at work posted this on Facebook last night…I figured today was as good as any to dive into a full on Rant.
Know when it’s a “reply all” moment, and when it’s not. There are few “reply all” moments.
The big thing is what compels people to use Reply All any way? What are the us cases for this productivity draining, soul sucking stupidity? For myself…I only reply all when the content of the email affects everyone equally within the email thread. I like to be notified in group emails and distribution groups that something has happened but the reality is that far too many times there is no additional value added to the mix when Reply All is hit.
This may be the reason why Social Media and IM options are starting to overtake and supplant Email in the workforce. To me an email is a call to action and requires me to stop what I am doing and dedicate my attention to that function but the Reply All Frenzy that far too many people do has forced my hand and more than 50% of my internal email does not even hit my inbox anymore…it goes straight to the trash bin.
I have been reprimanded a few times for missing an email that was actually important but you know what…I did the calculation of the lost productivity caused by the blind Reply All function. Lets put this into perspective, I work as a Sales Professional and with 90+ other people working similar roles we see a lot of activity in the world of back slaps, high fives and congratulations via email. I enjoy the initial “Joe got a big deal” email…but the 25 Reply All emails come close to giving me an aneurism!!! This stupidity is very costly to any organization and here is how:
The reality is that the chronic offenders of the Reply All Addiction do not average just 3 Seconds per email as they reply-all to the emails and all too often Reply-All to the Reply’s. I really don’t have 14 hours per year to spend dealing with useless and unproductive emails…the distraction and start and stop to my day of dealing with email is a challenge and for a person who can break down their activities in any given day to the minute…well it just doesn’t make sense.
So what can be done to remedy this productivity draining, soul sucking, money wasting practice…well for starters…how about a little respect for your colleagues time! Think before you send the DAMN EMAIL!
Here is a great resource for those out there that think that their voice needs to be heard just because they have access to a keyboard and an email account:
Speaking the truth…that is what I love about the Internet. Google is a wonderful tool, it literally took me .329 seconds to find this article. If you are not sure how to use a program or a piece of technology…for the love of Pete…EDUCATE YOURSELF! You do nothing but annoy EVERYONE around you. I get that you don’t know what you don’t know but do something everyday to elevate yourself beyond what you were in the morning when you hauled that skin sack out of bed and got dressed for work!
Speaking of getting ready for work…it is time to head off.
Chris J Powell