Reply-all is the easiest and most common way to waste someone else’s time.
Unless used for a purpose, it is inconsiderate and demonstrates laziness on the sender’s part. Reply-all has become more than just an annoyance in business; it is a legitimate time waster.
I encourage the companies I work with to have a communication protocol and a conversation code of conduct. These are simple rules to respect each other’s time and improve productivity while increasing the level of effective communication. Reply-all is often left off and so I wanted to suggest some general rules for the “reply-allers” out there:
1. Only reply to those who need to hear a reply
2. Only reply when you have something to say
3. Do not send attachments to reply all
4. Do not reply to say thank you
If you have reply-all abusers, here is a list of exercises for them following your Intervention!
· Repeat after me, “I will never use reply all”
· Write 1,000 times on the board, ”Reply all sucks”
· Calculate what every single person’s hourly rate is and estimate the number of minutes it takes to read unnecessary emails. Add that up and write a check for that amount to your favorite charity!
Most importantly, be respectful of other’s time. There is nothing more valuable.