Please Don’t Reply to All | AccountingWEB

Please Don’t Reply to All

Email has become like breathing in the workplace these days. It just goes in and out all day long, sometimes seemingly without much thought. Many of us know the feeling of walking into a meeting, coming out a half hour later, and having so many new emails in your inbox it feels almost like an impossibility.

It’s not going away, but there are some things we can do to make email less cumbersome:

  • Lay off the Reply All button – There’s a certain percentage of emails that don’t require a reply, much less a reply to everyone CC’d. If you have something to say to someone, don’t assume you have to say it to everyone. This can quickly become the source of clutter and then people just stop reading.
  • Consider walking over – Sometimes it’s good to have an email record of what goes on, but not always. If you have a simple question and you can get a quick answer by just walking over and talking to someone, consider sending one less electronic message across the bow.
  • Go easy on urgency – When things are busy, it can start to feel like everything is urgent, every email a top priority. But be careful not to overwhelm people with exclamation points, high importance tags and writing in all CAPS. You want to communicate, not scream.


It’s obviously a busy time for firms right now, so make a little easier on yourself by cutting down on the email management portion of your day.

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Michael Alter, payroll expert with an MBA from Harvard Business School, is a nationally recognized spokesperson providing thought-leadership and sensible advice to help accounting and payroll professionals build deeper more profitable relationships with clients. Alter, President of SurePayroll, writes the Trade Secrets column on and is frequently published in Bloomberg TV, the Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur Magazine.

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