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10 Reasons I Don’t Want to Look at My Work Email
Being awarded an official email address is one of the things a fresh-faced new hire gets excited about. There’s something very grown-up and important-sounding about having an email address that ends in a company name, rather than the free account you set up in high school; the novelty, however, wears off quickly in most cases. Here are ten of the reasons I no longer even want to log in to my workplace email account.
- There’s Always a Meeting – At any given time, there is at least one message about an upcoming meeting or a recap of the things covered in yesterday’s meeting. The amount of email that workplace meetings generate is mind-boggling.
- Chain Emails – Despite frequent reminders from upper management warning against personal or non-work-related email, there’s no shortage of chain messages in my inbox. Exhortations to “forward this to anyone you care about!!!!!!” abound, along with alerts for children that aren’t actually missing and cautionary tales regarding anything one could imagine.
- Cheesy Corporate Jokes – Every office has a jokester; the problem is, they usually aren’t very funny. When this person takes their attempts at humor to email, the result is a flood of Dilbert cartoons.
- I Don’t Want to Take Work Home With Me – The advent of smartphones has made it easier than every for the busy professional to become immersed in their work. While there are certainly advantages to keeping abreast of any project changes or office memos during the off hours, replying to one email after dinner can snowball, leaving me up half of the night working on things that could easily be taken care of from the office.
- Passive-Aggressive Emails From Co-Workers – Very few platforms can get a passive-aggressive message across like email. Those who are fluent in the language of passive aggression can come up with all sorts of nasty tricks, from “accidentally” CC’ing the office busybody to the carefully worded mass-mailed complaint.
- “Reply All” Misuse – Despite how much the professional world relies on email, there are a staggering number of people who just can’t seem to get the concept down. A couple of people who don’t understand the “reply all” function can fill up an inbox in the space of a workday, all from one mass-mailed message.
- CC and BCC Gaffes – Much like the “reply all” button, the CC and BCC functions are the misunderstood artists of the email world. The majority aren’t quite sure how they work, leaving a veritable mess of exposed email addresses, accidentally-shared sensitive information and chaos.
- Constant Interruptions – The constant pinging of email alerts is among the most distracting noises in the world. We’re all so conditioned to drop everything in order to check the incoming message that the concept of productivity goes out the window; ignoring them simply isn’t an option. Though an incoming message is probably a chain message, forwarded joke or “reply all” fiasco, it might be an important message from the boss.
- Blank Subject Lines – An email with a blank subject line is impossible to prioritize. Having no clue about the contents or their time-sensitivity, I’m forced to open them immediately; usually to find a recipe for gluten-free cookies or happy-hour plans.
- Over-Rated Priority – The ability to flag a message as high-priority is one of the more useful email-related tools; until it starts being abused, that is. Just like Pavlov’s dogs learned to drool, office-dwellers have learned that a flagged message gets immediate attention, and they take full advantage of the fact.
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