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Chapter 10
Electronic Mail at Work

The conventions for email at work are a little different than for email among friends. Professional email can still be informal. But a lot of the humor and wit that's appropriate in a discussion group is out of place at work. For the most part, signature files are not used in work email, unless the email is sent to external recipients.

Q. My organization just installed an email system, and everyone is starting to use it. How often do I need to check my mail?

Preferably three or four times a day, but at least twice a day. You should always check your mail in the morning when you come in to the office and in mid-afternoon, or an hour or two before you leave. That way, you pick up messages that were sent while you were out of the office (late-evening messages if you're a morning person, early-morning messages if you're not) and act on them immediately. Your mid-afternoon check allows you to deal with the day's business promptly. A midday check and a final check before you leave for the day are always a good idea, as well.

If you're really too busy to check your mail that often, or if you're going to be out for more than a day, consider deputizing someone to

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