Outlook, the mail client of choice in many large-scale organizations, provides users the ability to reply to everyone from the sender to the recipients. While this can be useful in certain situations, it is best avoided as it can cause a lot of unintentional issues within an organization. Below are just some of the things to keep in mind before selecting the Outlook Reply All option:
Prevent Server Congestion
The emails will be sent using the company’s servers and stored in its cloud implementation. Both of these are limited resources. If everyone used the feature all the time, then there will be a lot of pointless duplicate copies of the same message. The servers could slow down and the storage allotment could quickly get used up. These can all happen pretty quickly in massive organizations with thousands of employees. The company will be forced to increase capacity even if most of it is actually underutilized.
Focus on Concerned Parties
It is always better to focus your replies, if any, to the concerned parties. Select the specific people you want to send your message to instead of creating an email blast. There’s a good chance that only a few people within the organization are aware of you or are relevant to the topic at hand. If you have a question, then ask it to the sender. Others do not need to read your inquiry or see the answer. The rest will only treat the back-and-forth as spam and remain unread as it does not concern them.
Increase Staff Productivity
Replying to all can have a detrimental effect on productivity. People will receive messages they don’t need and may use up their valuable time reading them. If everybody did this, it can be hard to filter out which one is important and which one is not. This forces people to check every single email which can take hours. With judicious use of this feature, everyone will benefit from increased productivity. They can be finishing work that matters instead of going through Outlook.
Maintain a Professional Stance
It is bad enough when an entire organization gets countless emails because of this, but it can get worse if the clients or customers somehow become part of the address line as well. They will then be able to read the communication that should be privy to the staff about internal matters. It can reveal secrets and expose flaws in the organization. Just receiving a barrage of emails can itself be unseemly. It is better to avoid this habit to maintain a professional appearance.
Outlook Reply All can be useful but be sure to prevent its abuse.