We’ve all experienced email overload, and some emails require a fair amount of time to write a reply. If you don’t have time to get to an email right away, at least tell the recipient when they can expect to hear back from you.
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Over at The Muse, writer Sara McCord suggests a few tips for answering work emails in a timely manner. She writes:
If you simply wait a week to get back to someone, he’ll assume you considered it a low priority — and that doesn’t make anyone feel good. However, if you write him back right away clarifying when you will be in touch, it seems like it was really important to you to provide a timeline as soon as humanly possible.
By setting an expectation for when he can expect a thorough response, you’re being thoughtful. And if you beat that date, you’re no longer the person who took five days to respond: You’re the person who said she’d need a week but replied two days early.
It’s classic office etiquette, really, but it’s useful for a couple of additional reasons, too. For one, it forces you to set aside a time to actually reply, rather than allow the email to sit in your inbox forever. And second, it ensures the recipient knows you got the email, so you don’t have to worry about them flooding your inbox with even more follow ups. For more tips, read McCord’s full post at the link below.
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