E-mail Etiquette


Most of us use emails, text messages and other form of communications to connect and for work related activities. According to this syndicated Washington Post article by Angela Haupt, most employee spend about 28% of the workweek reading and answering emails.

Email has become the biggest and worst interrupter the universe has ever experienced. It’s cheap, it’s immediate, and you can copy 200 people if you want to.

– Marsha Egan, a workplace productivity coach (source: Star Tribune)

Marsha Egan says “you either control your email, or it controls you”. I agree! It’s an addictive habit, if someone is used to reading every email and answering all the emails in inbox.

Marsha Egan has following advices to wrangle your inbox into order:

  • Check your email just a few times a day.
  • Adhere to the four Ds: do, delete, delegate or defer.
  • Turn off notifications.
  • Install useful browser extensions like Throttle app.
  • Don’t think of your inbox as a to-do list.
  • Get good at finding emails.
  • Unsubscribe e-newsletters aggressively.
  • Don’t obsess over Inbox Zero.

The following are some of her recommended healthy email culture:

  • Don’t use email for urgent communications.
  • Work with colleagues on best practices.
  • Skip the late-night messages.