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Keep your email in check: A CEO’s secret

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Email eats up a chunk of the workday, with some reports suggesting upwards of 2.5 hours per day. It’s more than a time waster, though. It’s also a huge cause of stress because employees feel obliged to deal with it around the clock, even when they should be off the clock.

That’s why we’re naming William Vanderbloemen, CEO of Vanderbloemen Search Group (and bosses like him), Best Communicator this month, for managing his company’s email problem. Here’s his advice:

Stop relying on email so much

As his company grew, Vander­bloemen realized that using email for everything—meeting requests, company correspondence and chitchat—was getting out of hand. He decided to use other formats, such as group text, to cut down on the number of emails people received.

Set rules for email use on your own team. Tried-and-true ones include “Stop CCing people who don’t need the information” and “If your email exceeds two short paragraphs, call the person or meet face-to-face instead.”

Establish code for emails

Vanderbloemen says, “If I email you, I need a response within 24 hours; if I text you, I need a response as soon as possible; and if I call you, I need you to pick up or call back immediately.” That code, he says, takes the pressure off because employees usually don’t need to stop what they’re doing to respond to him.

Establish your own communication code, but perhaps more important, set some boundaries. Don’t email employees or co-workers outside of business hours unless it’s urgent.

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