Stop Reply-all Abuse

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.