Maybe you’re not super technologically advanced. I get it — I’m a millennial who doesn’t know how to update my iPhone to get the cool Instagram story features, I refuse to pay for the Cloud because its mysticism scares me even though I’m totally out of space on my laptop, and I use a color-coordinated Microsoft Word doc to hand-record all of my expenses because Excel confuses me and budgeting apps overwhelm me.
I get by.
But there are some simple technological mistakes you might be making at work with which you can’t get away forever. Your boss is probably noticing, and they’re not good looks for you. Here are seven technology mistakes your manager wishes you would stop making.
1. You reply all on your emails.
Sure, sometimes your response to an email warrants you checking off “reply all,” but other times it doesn’t. If your manager sends out a mass email without BCCing the others (meaning, you’re able to see everyone else’s emails on the list), it’s easy to accidentally reply to everyone. But don’t, unless it’s necessary. Make sure that you’re only replying to the people who need to be in on your conversation, so as to not bombard others with emails that don’t pertain to them.
2. You don’t make proper use of the BCC tool on email.
Speaking of BCC, it’s an important tool that, when used right, can help you and others to avoid the aforementioned issue of replying all. Basically, BCCing someone is like CCing them while keeping their email private to the person who is receiving your email. So anyone who is BCC’ed won’t be visible on the email thread. If you fail to use BCC, you not only make it more difficult for others to respond to only you, but you also share others’ emails, which may breach their privacy.
3. You don’t include a signature in your emails.
As a professional, you should have an automated signature in your email that states your name, title and contact information. If you don’t have a signature in your emails, you run the risk of looking unprofessional — after all, people with whom you communicate via email need to know who you are and why you’re of relevance to them or could be in the future.
4. You don’t properly put people on hold on the phone.
Your phone has a hold button because you’re supposed to use it. If you’re on the phone with a client, customer, colleague, partner or another stakeholder, for examples, and you need to put the phone down momentarily, you should always let them know that you’ll need to put them on a brief hold. This doesn’t mean putting the phone down on your desk while you chit chat in the background; it means literally pressing the hold button.
5. You use your work laptop for personal use.
It’s okay to use your work laptop for personal use sometimes, so long as your manager and human resources approves of this use. But there are typically rules pertaining to what you’re allowed to do (and what you’re not allowed to do) with your work laptop so as to avoid infringing upon or risking the company’s privacy, as well as to avoid damaging the computer with viruses and such. Make sure you know exactly what you can and cannot do with your computer, and rely on these general guidelines for all the other unspoken rules.
6. You don’t make the most of your monitors.
If your work has given you multiple monitors, make the most of the ample space you have. While you may be used to working on a small laptop screen, you now have multiple screens to utilize so you don’t have to be moving tabs around, minimizing documents and shuffling downloads all over your desktop. You have much more space to operate, and you should make the most of it.
7. You forget to CC important people on your emails.
If there’s an important person you really should be CCing on important emails, like your boss, make sure that you’re not neglecting to do that. You should always double- and triple-check that you’ve CC’ed or BCC’ed everyone necessary on your emails before you send them, because looping people in later can cause miscommunications.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.