Friday 22 April 2005

Update on Mastering E-mail Overload

A few weeks ago I pointed out the continuing interest in dealing with the big problem of e-mail overload in the workplace. I ran my first short inhouse seminar yesterday and I'm currently talking to a few more organisations who have also expressed an interest in running a briefing session on this topic.

Very briefly, the Mastering E-mail Overload briefing focuses on a three step process that can move your organisation toward dealing with this growing problem:

  1. Eliminating the root cause of the problem;
  2. Individuals taking control of their own inbox; and
  3. Communicating better with e-mail.

As a bit of background on this approach - which I think is a bit different from the usual generic "six tips for effective e-mail" we hear about - I've also now written a brand new short article, titled For better, or worse: Living with e-mail in the workplace. Please let me know via the contact details on my Website if you are interested in this article, or perhaps even a briefing session in your workplace.

BTW One interesting question that came up during yesterday's briefing session was the issue of how quickly should people reply to e-mail. The answer is that it depends. Last year I ran a workshop for small business on e-mail customer service – in some instances a business needs to reply as quickly as possible and there are strategies you can use to make this easier. Some of the responsibility also falls on the sender of the message – if you need an immediate reply make it clear in your message that this is your expectation. Or use an alternative communication channel like the telephone, instant messaging or if its an option, good old face-to-face.

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