How Quickly Do You Respond to Emails?

January 10, 2014

Career Advice

When Should You REspond to Email?Imagine this: an email pops up in your inbox asking for some additional information about a project you’re working on. You don’t know the answer. You:

a) Immediately respond and piece together the best answer possible at the time.
b) Let them know you’ll respond soon with a more thought-out response.
c) Read the email and make a note to respond later.

In our quick-hit culture when our phones buzz us the instant an email arrives, most people choose answer A — they respond to emails instantly. And it may be hurting our credibility. We feel pressure to respond immediately, but that’s not always the best way to run our professional lives. Poorly-written emails, unnecessarily long responses, and uneducated answers are often the results.

If you chose answer B, you’ve found the happy medium — respond immediately, but take the time to develop a better answer. But perhaps answer C is the type of culture we should be moving toward. Have you ever thought about turning off your email notifications? Or checking email only once per hour so you can actually get uninterrupted work done? Or picking up the phone instead of sending an email? It may sound crazy, but it shouldn’t.

We rely on email too much. We need time to focus on our work, get our work done without interruption, and ruminate in what we’re doing. We need more time to connect face-to-face and express our thoughts in person. Will you try to lay off the email in 2014? Comment below with your thoughts!

Image via RaHul Rodriguez/Flickr.

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About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

View all posts by Spectrum Brands Careers

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