Email is an excellent way of communicating with colleagues and getting things done quickly and efficiently, which is why it is essential for almost any office administration career. However, too much email can quickly lead to wasted time and a decrease in productivity. In fact, the average worker spends about 2.6 hours reading and responding to emails each day.
To be truly effective in your office administration career, you need to learn how to manage your emails. Here are three useful tips for email management to help you thrive on the job.
1. Use Folders to Organize Emails During Your Office Administration Career
All too often, people get comfortable with letting their inboxes build up with hundreds of emails. This makes it difficult to find the emails you need amidst the ones that you don’t. Furthermore, having an inbox populated with tons of messages feels psychologically overwhelming.
To help solve this problem, you should use folders to organize your emails and reserve your inbox for only the most recent and important emails. Just about every email system, including MS Outlook, which you’ll learn how to use during your office administration training, enables you to create folders. For example, you may want to create folders for emails that you need to respond to later, emails that are urgent, emails that don’t require a response but still include important information, and so on.
2. Respond Immediately to Emails to Avoid Email Overload in the Future
Some people prefer to manage their emails by setting aside certain times during the day when they check their inboxes. However, this strategy may backfire. Many people expect a prompt response when they email and forcing them to wait too long can look unprofessional. Furthermore, at some offices, not responding to emails right away is simply not acceptable.
In fact, responding immediately is often the best way to avoid email overload. Most emails take only a couple minutes to respond to. If you delay responding, you end up wasting time later trying to find the email and potentially having to respond to follow-up emails the same sender also sent wondering why you didn’t respond to their first email.
3. Email May Not Always Be the Best Choice in Your Office Administration Career
While email will probably be the preferred method of communication in your office administration career, that doesn’t mean it’s always the best. For some conversations, email can be clunky, inefficient, and ripe for misunderstandings. For example, if you email a colleague a question and she send you an email back asking for clarification to that question. You then email her back the clarification she asked for and then she provides an answer to your original question.
Assuming there’s a five-minute gap between each email, the entire exchange will take over 20 minutes when it could have been done in less than a minute through a face-to-face conversation. It’s important to remember that while email is a great tool if used properly, relying on it too much can lead to email overload. If there’s a faster way to communicate, it’s sometimes easier to use that way instead.
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