Dear Coworker, Please Stop Emailing Me

Dear Coworker, Please Stop Emailing Me

Hi All! I had a really wonderful brunch this past weekend and we got into the topic of when/how we prefer emails/chats/etc in the workplace. (And in dating, but that’s for a different type of blog ūüėČ ). It also fell in line with a Monster article that was published last week on how we should communicate on our various platforms. Let me start off to just explain. I hate email. I’m a senior project manager for graphic design and branding firm and the number of emails I receive a day simply lends itself to items being lost in the shuffle of life. I worked out a system for myself, and have worked diligently with my teams as well on some of what I outline below. This way, as a team, we’re all greatly reducing our email overload and our jobs are moving past an email-only world. Now we even understand the¬†value of gasp, getting up and just talking to each other! I wanted to share some of the rules I follow in order to maintain sanity in my day-to-day life.

Email is Good for:

  • Bulleted lists of questions or needs
  • Meeting recaps with next steps
  • Task-oriented emails (with people called out in¬†bold)
  • Project recaps, or “What You Missed Last Week”
  • Consensus emails, i.e. “The team agreed on x, y, z”

Email is Bad for:

  • Long-winded emails filled with questions/concerns and lack of action
  • Cc’ing people just so they are “aware”
  • Back-and-forth call and responses
  • Multiple subjects in one email,¬†or, multiple email chains for one subject

Chat is Good for:

  • Quick questions
  • Follow-up on specific needs
  • Finding consensus on a topic
  • Chatting about fun stuff

Chat is Bad for:

  • Bulleted lists of questions or needs
  • Task-oriented notes
  • Project recaps
  • Multiple subjects
  • Long-winded comments/notes
  • Trash-talking (but you knew that, right?)

Phone/In-Person is Good for:

  • Professional or quick check-ins
  • Finding people who work in “flow”mode and rarely check email or chat systems
  • Consensus building
  • Off-color conversations, aka mild trash talking
  • Emergencies
  • Pleasant conversations and rapport building

Phone/In-Person is Bad for:

  • Multiple needs
  • Confusing requests
  • Items that require more than one person to weigh in

Curious how other people make their lives a little less-email-heavy, but this is what I do!


Credits: Headache designed by Ed Harrison from the Noun Project, @iconmonstr

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: