If your inbox is jam-packed with unnecessary reply-all messages, tackle the issue with direct, but polite, communication.
During your next meeting—whether it’s in person or via conference call—say:
I have a small request. We are all dealing with overflowing inboxes, so I want to cut down on the amount of emails we all receive. Please stop using the “reply-all” function, unless it’s critical for everyone on the email to read your message. If you need to follow up with someone to say “thanks,” acknowledge something, or ask a question, respond only to that specific person. I’d appreciate it, and I think others would too.
Some people will still do it. However, as more people stop using the reply-all function, those who do may start to feel awkward for doing so, and hopefully, will stop.
— Adapted from “Getting My Office to Stop With All the Reply-Alls,” Alison Green, The Business Journals, www.bizjournals.com.