According to Forbes, on average, office workers receive at least 200 messages a day and spend about two-and-a-half hours reading and replying to emails.
To add to this, 144 out of the 200 emails an office worker receives each day are irrelevant to them.
What makes it even worse? 55% of workers agree that excessive emails prevent them from doing their primary job duties.
This is mostly due to the (in)famous cc’ing but also using email as an instant messaging tool. Using email as your default communication tool is far from being ideal. While it may seem alright to do it sporadically, managing your inbox will shortly become a nightmare when such habits are encouraged in the corporate environment. The main question here is: how to decrease the number of emails while improving the internal communication flow? Or how to combat the endless flood of emails and remain productive throughout the workday?
1) Tips for Outlook – how to better manage your emails
If Outlook is your primary email client, the good news is that you can tailor it to your requirements and decrease the email overload. The first rule is “ only keep the emails that require immediate attention in your inbox”. How do you do this?
a) Using the Sweep Tool:
Use the Sweep tool in Outlook online to delete unwanted emails from your inbox; You can adjust how you want to proceed with certain sender’s messages and whether you want to delete, archive them, or place them in a specific folder.
b) Using the rules and alerts
You can create folders and set up rules: for example, you can move all emails where you are CC'’ed automatically into a designated folder. This will save you time and you will be able to prioritize the emails which were sent directly to you. This can be achieved by right click on the message and then ‘create a rule’. You might want to check advanced options, too:
c) Creating Templates in Outlook
If you tend to send a lot of emails with information that does not change frequently, templates can be a savior. On the Home tab, in the New group, click New E-mail. Then, In the message window, click the File tab. Click Save As. In the Save As dialog box, in the Save as type list, click Outlook Template. In the File name box, type a name for your template, and then click Save.
To use a message template, Select New Items > More Items > Choose Form. In the Choose Form dialog box, in Look In, click User Templates in File System.
2. Microsoft Teams– your weapon to combat hundreds of internal emails
The power of Microsoft Teams in internal communication should not be underestimated. Key advantages of moving internal communication from Outlook to Teams include:
- All information is at your fingertips organized in channels
- For instant messages, there is the chat functionality
- Ease of arranging quick meetings
- Transparency in communication
- Staying in control of your notifications
- Files are easily accessible to all team members and arranged in folders, instead of being scattered all over inbox and desktop
Don’t forget, Teams is equally official as your Outlook email – it belongs to the same line of subscription – Office (Microsoft) 365.
Use Teams for:
a) internal chats - to exchange quick messages with your colleagues in a secure and convenient way
b) channel communication - create channels and organize your discussions around topics
c) to set up your notifications and adjust notifications to your preferences and requirements
3. The integration between Teams and Outlook
It is worth mentioning that there is an integration between Teams and Outlook, which enables you to forward emails from Outlook to Teams and messages from Teams to Outlook.
To forward an email from Outlook to Teams, simply select ‘get email address’ from the menu under the ellipsis next to the channel to which you want to forward your message; copy the email address and paste it in the ‘to’ box of the emails message you want to forward – as simple as emailing someone.
Have you tried 'drag and drop' feature in Teams? You can drag an email and drop it (post it) in the channel.
A new “Share to Teams” button will be available inside Outlook in March 2021, and it simply moves an email into Microsoft Teams.
To forward a message from Teams to Outlook, click on the ellipsis (…) next to the Teams message which you want to forward, and then ‘Share to Outlook’.
Don’t forget, you can schedule your Teams meetings directly from Outlook, and there is a new feature coming to Outlook very soon – to start an instant Teams meeting from the Calendar tab in Outlook Windows through Meet Now from Outlook.
Curious about learning more or want to get more tips on Outlook and Teams? Get in touch with us via the following link.