IT Pet Peeves: Email

We polled some of our favorite IT people about their key pet peeves when it comes to email. There were lots—but the most critical ones are summarized below. Remembering these will not only help conserve IT resources, but will also ensure that you don’t end up on your IT manager’s hit list.

Email has evolved to be one of the most important and relied upon forms of communication and collaboration within the workplace. Unfortunately, the second email goes down, employees are often quick to either blame IT or jump to another email service during the downtime.

Peeve #1: Users copying themselves on all emails

While you may think copying yourself on every single email is being proactive, doing this quickly takes up a business’ existing storage space. This practice creates many unnecessary data redundancies, especially since many businesses have data archiving practices in place. Find out what your company’s archiving policy is and you will no longer a need to copy yourself on every single outgoing message.

Peeve #2: Emailing Company documents to personal addresses

In a recent study, we found that 79% of respondents claimed to have sent work emails to or from their personal accounts. Unfortunately, these were not sporadic instances as our respondents admitted to sending company information to personal addresses on a regular basis. Sending and receiving key business documents or messages through external sources means businesses won’t have any eDiscovery insight into those email platforms or conversations, which can become a significant legal headache down the road or create a data loss nightmare for the IT team. At all times possible, keep company information within the business.

Peeve #3: Saving every email

It goes without saying that as professionals, we are sometimes slaves to our attachments. Yet, by overusing attachments or not removing them from email messages, users quickly clog up the available space within an inbox and slow the delivery of email to other users. Additionally, in the absence of an endless inbox limit, employees have often experienced the huge frustration of a crashed inbox because it exceeded the size limit.

To avoid this pain, file only that which absolutely needs to be saved and delete the emails that are not work-related. For example, guaranteed in two weeks you won’t have a need for that email discussing the location and menu of where your team is planning a dinner.

When it doubt, refer to Justin Pirie’s thoughts on the Getting Things Done and how it can help tame the inbox monster.

Peeve #4: Not protecting mobile devices

With the introduction of tablets and more sophisticated smart-phones, today’s enterprise is more mobile and consumerized than ever. As discussed above, around 85% of business information is held within company email and with email and documents available via these devices, there is a greater chance for exposure of confidential information. Additionally, it’s inevitable that an employee will leave their mobile device, laptop or tablet in a cab, on a train, in the back seat pocket of an airplane or on the table in a coffee shop. That said, take easy security precautions, such as password protecting the device and email, to ensure business information is protected as best as possible.

Peeve #5: Ignoring the compliance risks

Our Generation Gmail research has found 36% of inbound email to work inboxes is not work related. While it can be easier for all email to be funneled into one account, personal email not only congests company storage space (see pet peeve #1), but can also be retrieved in a company compliance investigation. Additionally, certain key words within a personal email can trigger a notification to the IT team. For dignity’s sake, don’t give out your work email address to personal contacts and encourage friends and family to email your personal account only. For example, if all personal emails reside within the business, there is a risk that your boss will see how fun a friend’s bachelor party really was.

In our experience, email snafus are to be expected. While the best email policy will meet the needs for both the business and the users, there are a few ways to help an IT friend out.

Let us know if there are any other top email peeves that should be highlighted here – we would love to hear your thoughts!