We’ve all been there: Staring at an email inbox stacked with one irritating message after the next. The damage control can seem too overwhelming to tackle, especially at the end of the day when the only ones remaining are the ones you’ve worked hardest to avoid. Where to begin responding? And what’s with all these tone-deaf emailers?
The annoying email doesn’t come in just one flavor. Chances are you’ve encountered at least one of these types of emails in the course of your workday. Here’s how to knock them off your plate as gracefully as you can:
Even when young professionals post out-of-office messages, they’re still connected. Here’s why employers should give the option to check in.
No matter where you take your summer holiday, if you’re a millennial, then you will likely be packing your inbox.
According to a recent study by HR consulting firm Randstad, 52% of millennial employees reported feeling compelled to respond to emails outside of working hours. Despite their ability to connect with the office while away, 40% of generation Y employees reported feeling guilty about using all of their vacation time, compared to only 18% of baby boomers.
Jim Link, managing director of HR at Randstad, attributes some of this generational difference to the fact that millennial employees are in earlier stages of their careers and are apt to feel more anxious about appearing responsive. They are more hesitant to take time off for fear of missing out on career opportunities, he adds.
Baby boomer employees who have more seniority may feel a greater sense of security, Link explains. Therefore, they value freedom when it comes to taking vacation time and creating a clear separation between work and home life.
“If you’re young, you’re trying to show your value in an organization,” he says. “The bleeding between work and life is also more pronounced among millennials. They’re also the group who are most comfortable being connected while they’re away.”
Amid all the talk of inbox zero, there are actually advocates for engineering email inundation into your work flow. If it’s time to embrace the bloated inbox, read on.
MORE BRAIN SPACE FOR OTHER THINGS
For Mazur and Cerulo, their inboxes serve the same function as a master to-do list. Cataloging tasks in one easily searchable place opens up bandwidth for other things. “We don’t waste brain space trying to remember if this got done, or losing sleep about some little thing that the other one may have taken care of, or bugging each other about scheduling nonsense,” said Cerulo.
"Unless you have a retail store or office, it doesn’t make sense to put physical address in your signature. Include one or two social icons but not all of them. The more choices you offer, the less likely any of them will be clicked.”
According to Unroll.me, of 2.5 million unsubscribed emails, consumers were most displeased with emails from 1-800 Flowers, unsubscribing at a 52.5% rate, followed by spam from Ticketweb, which had a 47.5% unsubscribe rate.