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‘Reply All’ Is Not Just Annoying, Also Bad for Business

reply all

Just about everybody who has used email in a business setting has a “reply all” horror story. If you’re lucky, you just ended up spamming your colleagues with minutiae. If you’re not so lucky, you divulged embarrassing personal details or perhaps even something that could get you in trouble with your boss.

Beyond those disasters, “reply all” just isn’t good for business generally. Office workers spend 15 percent of their day responding to emails, 5 percent of which are “reply all” chains. While that might not sound like a lot, it starts to add up in large companies.

“Death by a thousand cuts,” is how technology expert Ryan Fuller, who analyzes business email systems, described the productivity loss associated with “reply all.”

In response, more and more companies are cracking down on the function by giving senders the option of disabling it. Other software presents responders with a warning after they hit the reply-all button.

One company, Nielsen, has basically eliminated “reply all.” The button is disabled in their email system and can only be activated by typing in an override function.


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