The Art of Replying All
One of my daily struggles is the incompetence of people when it comes to hitting “Reply All” on an e-mail. It seems that you either get it or you don’t, and I’ve just had about enough of it. I was on an e-mail chain the other day, pertaining to something that I needed to be in the loop on. However, I kept getting removed from responses. So let’s break down when it’s okay and not okay to reply all.
It can get pretty confusing when it comes to knowing who you need to reply to, especially if it’s your first office job. You may want to seem proactive and set a good example but you’re really just pissing off everyone in your office. Our inboxes are precious and we treat them as our children. We live and die by our gmail and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
When is it okay to reply to the whole group? Here’s some examples:
- When it specifically asks you
- If a project needs input and everyone involved needs to be aware of your input
- If you’re making dinner plans with a group of friends
It’s really simple. If everyone on that e-mail chain needs to be aware of your response, let everyone know.
When is it not okay to reply the whole group? A few examples:
- When something is rhetorical
- Don’t hit “reply all” to RSVP for anything
- Congratulations? Nope. Just reply to the person you need to congratulate.
It seems petty but replying all really does crowd inboxes with useless information. If the recipients of the e-mail do not need to know, don’t let them know.
The best way to avoid annoying everyone? Think before responding.