Remember when email used to be fun? Now I dread coming into the office to check an inbox full of junk, most of which doesn’t apply to me whatsoever.
A poll of 750 office workers has identified seven deadly sins of email:
Blitzing — The dreaded ‘reply all.’ More than a quarter of the survey sample expressed frustration at being unnecessarily copied irrelevant emails. They said it was “like being spammed by your colleagues.”
Ignoring — Seventy-nine percent of survey respondents said they resented having to chase up email responses.
Lying – The old, I never got your email trick. Denying emails breeds distrust because, unlike phone calls and letters, it’s relatively easy to confirm whether or not a message has been delivered.
Presuming — Twenty-seven percent of survey respondents said they were annoyed when urgent emails were sent without an accompanying phone call to draw attention to it.
Waffling — Being sent pages of email text when a few lines will do irritates one-fifth of office staff, particularly senior management, the survey showed.
Sloppiness — Bad grammar, misspelling and disconnected arguments gave 81 percent of the survey sample “negative feelings” towards the senders, while 41 percent of senior managers said badly worded emails implied laziness and even disrespect.
Tactlessness — Getting the tone wrong is easy in emails. People can’t read body language, voice intonation and numerous other cues. Casual comments or humor can easily be misconstrued. Ten percent of respondents said they thought short, sharp emails unintentionally damaged relationships. 23 percent admitted confrontations with colleagues because of email misunderstandings.