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Actions for reducing emails

What can you do to reduce email traffic?

Think about introducing protected collaboration time, by setting aside an hour a week. Team wide collaboration time can facilitate face-to-face conversations between team members, spark ideas for future projects as well as improvements to existing ones and update on achievements and needs around the team. 

One-to-one meetings between employees and their line managers are really important for many reasons, but in terms of reducing email, you can encourage staff to save up actions for these meetings rather than sending lots of single task messages. 

Help people find you by improving your email signature and Office 365 profile. Uploading a photo of yourself and adding the hours you usually work to your Office 365 profile can help others find you while adding your internal extension and mobile numbers to your email signature makes it easier for people to call you.   

Think about the principles behind using all-staff and group email addresses; it could be helpful to define who should and who shouldn’t use these channels, and what they should and shouldn’t be used for. Does your message need to be sent right now? Or could it wait for the newsletter? Is this really email worthy, or would it be more appropriate to put a poster up in the kitchen?  

Don’t reply all (unless you really have to!) always check the “to” fields to check whether everyone needs to receive your response before sending.  

When you're sending an email to multiple recipients and you know one of them is out of the office, consider whether it might be better to update them once they're back, rather than copying them into lots of emails. 

When you want to share documents, it’s often more efficient to share them via platforms like SharePoint or MS Teams. Although you might still need to email people to announce that you’ve uploaded it, having one single source document means that changes only need to be made once, and out-of-date versions aren’t left in circulation. This also works really well when you are seeking feedback on a document, as all the feedback and changes you receive are made to a single version of the file.  

Do you need a response? Or would you rather not have one? You might consider including a line at the end of your emails indicating whether a reply is needed or not. 

Oh, and one more thing: for emails between certain groups of staff, it might be best to hold off before sending in case something else occurs to you. You might also think about saving things up to include in one email rather than firing emails off every time something occurs to you.  

Help spread the word

Include our 'I'm thinking outside the inbox' footer at the bottom of your emails.

Please use the text: Will you take the One PS challenge and Think Outside the Inbox?

And add the following image below it. Just right-click and save the image below and copy this into your email signature. Please only use this alongside the text to ensure your signature is accessible.

Signature thumbnail graphicl: I'm thinking outside the inbox

Email training 

  • Your Inbox to Zero: Pricing: £2,900 + VAT. Your discounted rate: £2,000 + VAT (max: 15 attendees). Find out more.

  • Email Etiquette: Pricing: £2,900 + VAT. Your discounted rate: £2,000 + VAT (max: 20 attendees). Find out more.