Many organizations set up office email systems, for use by their staff members. The office email system is meant to facilitate communication within the organization — like, say, between staff members in different departments. The office email system can also be used to communicate with people who are outside the organization: like, say, suppliers, clients, job applicants… and so on.
Some of the office email systems are operated through desktop email applications, such as Microsoft Outlook. Others are operated through web-based email applications, such as Zimbra.
Unfortunately, some workers have been known to misuse the office email systems. Sometimes, this leads to reprimands, with some people even ending up losing their jobs because of improper usage of office email systems. It is against this background, then, that we will be looking at some of the mistakes that one ought to avoid while using the office email system. The said mistakes include:
Using the office email system for personal communications
This is arguably the most frequently made mistake, when it comes to the usage of office email systems. You often encounter scenarios where staff members start exchanging (and forwarding to each other) funny email attachments using the office email system. Unknown to them is the fact that the communications that run through these office email systems are often monitored closely. And really, it is the height of laziness to use the office email system for personal communications: yet, in less than five minutes, one can easily set up a free Gmail or Yahoo Mail account for use in personal communications.
Sending offensive messages using the office email system
It is bad enough to use offensive language against a fellow worker (or anyone else in a workplace setting) in verbal communication. It is worse when you do it on the office email system, because a copy of the offensive email will be left on the system — and it can be used as evidence against you when matters come to a head.
Failing to respond promptly to messages received through the office email system
This is another frequently made mistake, when it comes to the usage of office email systems. Many of us often fail to appreciate that there is really one main reason as to why organizations invest in these office email systems: to ensure prompt and efficient communications. If you fail to respond promptly to messages received through the office email system, you slow things down in the organization — and this is bound to reflect badly on your employment records.
Failing to proofread messages before dispatching them through the office email system
This often leads to scenarios where messages with major errors are dispatched through the office email systems, occasionally with catastrophic consequences. There also are scenarios where a person proofreads the email message body, but then fails to cross-check the people to whom the message is to be dispatched, and the people to whom the message is to be copied. It is also in this category that we encounter the scenario where rather than clicking on the ‘reply’ button, one clicks on the ‘reply all’ button – and ends up sending an email reply to unintended recipients, sometimes with dire consequences.
Opening unsafe attachments on emails received through the office email system
This often lead to the introduction of viruses and other types of computer malware (including spyware) into organization’s computer systems. This is indeed how some respectable organizations have ended up having their systems hacked or otherwise infiltrated. It is definitely a mistake worth avoiding at all costs.