Will you or won’t you? Should you or shouldn’t you … check your emails while you are on leave? These questions remain hot topics judging by recent press coverage. Some feel their bosses and today’s 24/7 way of working means it is required of you as a professional. Others say you can’t really switch off properly and get the benefits of your break if you are constantly on line.
Many of you will be just about to go away or just coming back. So I thought you might like to take a look at the coverage and be reminded of some useful things you can do to minimise email intruding on your vacation and making your return a misery.
Lucy Kellaway in the Financial Times, not surprisingly, dislikes those Out of Office messages saying you are on leave and feels that staying connected is the right image for those who want to survive in today’s full on business world.
My view? – well I believe in disconnecting if possible but being realistic. I would say restrict yourself to logging on once a day but don’t let yourself get dragged back into work detail.
Delegate responsibilities and do some work to cut your inbox before you go as summarised in an article by Darren Slade business editor of the Daily Echo.
With respect to Out of Office message, I agree with Lucy about banal ones. However, setting a professional Out of Office message can help manage sender’s expectations and reduce cyber crime risks.
Whether or not you disconnect or stay connected you will undoubtedly return to a bulging inbox and Timothy Stenovec on Huffington.Com provides five very useful top tips to take back control of your inbox.
Click here for the full article by Tim Stenovec.
For more tips and hints on how to deal with email both on leave and on your return see my recent blog on email security over the vacation and the seven step plan for dealing with the vacation back log.
But this is not just about individuals making the decision to log on or not during the holiday season. Companies need to give clear guidlines about what they expect. Just as you should provide guidelines on what is acceptable email etiquette/style for your business, you should also include what is expected from employees on leave and especially in relation to their Out of Office message.
This is an area where we can and would be delighted to provide advice and guidance on email best practice to ensure you and your most valuable asset (your employees) have stress and email free vacations and minimise the cyber crime risks associated with Out of Office messages.
Have a great holiday.
Email overload is a problem for businesses of all sizes across the world. A client of mine recently upgraded his email server. While going through their requirements, an IT consultant understood that no email server was going to help them if they had no knowledge on managing their email inbox properly. Poor email management is the biggest distraction for most small businesses. So, what is the reason that made him so disappointed? The executives had no filters, no folders and more than 44,000 emails in their inbox.
Email is one of the most ideal communication platforms in the business world. It is important for entrepreneurs to take control of their inboxes. So, don’t waste one more day running a component of your organization improperly. Here are five suggestions for arranging your inbox and boosting up your overall productivity and reducing email overload.
1. Separate Personal From Business Emails
Just like you have different accounts for personal and business finances, you must also have different email ids for every account. Family email chains during a winter reunion may really clog up the inbox. If you haven’t separated them initially, then create a new personal email id today and send a mail from your business account asking your family and friends to send all personal mails to your new email id.
2. Set Time Aside For Finding A Solution
Email is usually used every day. If there is a problem with it, you shouldn’t delay. Dedicate the time, which is needed for finding an apt solution.
3. Set Up An Email Policy For The Company
If the email system of your company needs overhauling, invite chief decision makers for a consultation to weigh in on the setup. Also, talk about your expectations regarding separating business and personal emails and response times to customers.
4. Create A Backup Plan
Did you ever think what you would do if your business mail server stopped functioning for an extended period? How are you going to interact with your vendors, customers and salesperson? Never wait for this scenario to occur. Make preparations beforehand. Copy your contacts list and put them on a different email provider’s system as a backup.
5. Create Folders
If you want to keep your inbox at zero and manage your inbox effectively, you need to make sure you have a place for putting emails that you can use for future refence. For example, I have created eight folders for corraling my emails. The folders are unsubscribe, reading, business development, today, this week, clients, office and miscellaneous.
Are you the one who struggles with managing inbox content? Then, do something about it. You can follow all the suggestions that I have mentioned above and you will see measurable improvements in efficiency, productivity and time management. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
For more help contact Mesmo Consultancy and ask them to run one of their Brilliant Email workshops (as either a webinar or traditional class room based workshop). Too busy for either and wanting a personalised serviced. Ask them about their on-t0-one coaching.
Adriana Sopi is a freelance tech journalist based in the USA. For more information she recommends www.8acertification.net.
Top tips on how to beat the email blues when you return to work – Bournemouth Echo 06 August 2013.
Email cyber crime attacks effect one in two UK citizens and on average £247 is stolen from bank accounts per successful attack. Moreover, the Government’s Intelligence Services estimate that UK businesses are subjected to roughly 1,000 cyber attacks every hour. Email is often the low hanging fruit for the cyber criminal, rather like leaving the car keys near the front door so that the criminal can fish them out. How well do you and your business manage email security? When was the last time you updated your email best practice policy and provided any email management training?
There are two types of email security breaches, those we cause by carelessly leaking confidential information and those where others attack us. This blog deals with the former. Common cause of leaking confidential information by email (and not just during vacation time) are through:
Here are five top tips to help you manage the risk of a breach of email security and hence open the back door to a cyber crime attack especially during the vacation period.
If possible try to take an email free vacation. We all need down time. Dealing with sensitive emails over the holiday in a relaxed state of mind is often when breaches of security happen as we are at our most vulnerable. If you feel you cannot swich off it might be because you are suffering from email addiction. Click here to check if you are suffering email addiction.
What are the options to reducing email overload? Ferrari now limits employees from sending the same email to more than three people. Is this the best way to tackle email overload. Financial Times 9 July 2013.