Email and Teams: communicating effectively with colleagues
11 Jan 2022
With many of us continuing to work from home or adopting hybrid working patterns, we'd like to remind colleagues of effective use of email and other communication tools
Dealing with your email inbox
If you feel that you are spending too much time on your inbox, better email productivity could give you more time to pace your day, get ahead of schedule, and keep important projects on track. The following tips could help:
- Schedule specific times for checking email and limit the number of times you check email in a day
- Turn off email notifications - find out how
- Use folders to organise your inbox, and set up filters to organise mail
- Use flags and stars to categorise emails that need a response
- Rethink your email responses - does it need a reply? Sometimes emails are for information only, or a simple response is all that's needed.
- Always use a subject line, and keep it relevant and short.
- If you need a response from the person, put their name(s) in the To: box. If you don’t need a response from them, consider why you are including them. Overuse of the CC: box is a major contributor to email overload. Don't use ‘reply to all’ if you only need to reply to one person.
- Remember that email recipients may have diverse working hours. You might consider including a statement on your email signature along the lines of: “I do not expect any response outside core working hours. Please respond when it suits you during your normal working day.”
- If your email is for information only, reflect this in the subject line - e.g. [FOR INFO ONLY]
- Is email the best option, or would a discussion in a Teams channel be more appropriate and avoid a long email chain?
Using Teams and OneDrive/Sharepoint
Avoid confusion caused by long email chains with multiple versions of a document; consider using Teams to discuss a specific topic, alongside OneDrive (or SharePoint) to collaborate on a single version of a document with multiple colleagues, instead of email. This keeps the conversation in an easy-to-manage place and helps to keep your mailbox clean. Just remember to check who can edit it before you share.
Find out easy-to-follow information:
Look out for information on support from our Microsoft 365 Digital Champions in the coming months.
It's important to recognise that being present online for long periods of time can impact our wellbeing.
- If you need to work on an important task or project, mark your diary or Teams profile as 'Do not disturb'.
- Don't reply to emails outside your working hours, and consider setting your automatic reply to let colleagues know you are offline.