If you have one of these in your inbox, it says a lot about your work ethic

Photo: gajman via Flickr

Back in the day, we only communicated through phones, but we tend to prefer the less time-consuming email in today’s world.

How many emails are sitting in your inbox? 10? 100? 1,000?

Day in and day out, we receive email after email at work. Some may be emails from your supervisor filled with tasks that need to be completed, while others may be unanswered meeting requests, task lists, or cute puppy photos. 

The critical thing to remember is that these emails are work. Many of us find that we begin to stray from the typical work-based email as we spend time with our co-workers.

Wouldn’t it make sense that you want to chat with them about last week’s football game instead of another spreadsheet? 

Most of us are bound to send the occasional personal email while at work, this is quite common and to be expected. We spend a good majority of our day at work, so at times it is unavoidable.

Do people use work email for personal use?

According to Avatier’s independent and anonymous survey, nearly 4 in 10 people use their personal email accounts for work-related emails. That’s a relatively high number of people sending work emails from unmonitored personal email accounts. 

While this number may appear to be high, it’s also not very surprising. With the work-life crossover being reasonably substantial in the United States, it is hard for us to entirely ignore our personal lives when we’re at work for eight hours, and it’s hard for us to ignore work when we go home.

What if I never clean up my inbox?

This can mean several different things. One of them is that you most likely have quite a few emails sitting in there, waiting for your attention.

Do you ignore meeting requests? Do you delete tasks once complete or let them sit there? Do you leave emails in your inbox that still need attention, or do you keep them all of them?

While these may appear to be standard questions, they are also very telling as far as what this may say about your organizational skills. 

What does this say about our work ethic?

As far as what this may indicate about our work ethic, that is up for debate. Several factors come into play while considering this.

If you have a full inbox to keep track of customers, to-do lists, and important memos, you may be an organized individual trying to find the best way to prioritize. One might suggest that you break those inbox emails down into individual folders that make sorting and finding them a bit easier.

If your email is full of personal emails that you spend most of your time sending, then you may not be thrilled at your job. By focusing more on sending personal memos, this puts your productivity at risk. Perhaps this is not the job for you, or you may need a bit more of a challenge in your day.

Clean up that inbox!

Not only is a full inbox going to confuse, but you may forget to answer some important ones!

It may not necessarily mean that you have a terrible work ethic, but you may have a slightly disorganized one. Try cleaning up the inbox by creating folders, answering necessary emails, responding to meeting requests, and deleting the completed ones.

Some companies require that you do this to avoid fees that are created by having overly full inboxes. Keep this in mind at work!

The bottom line

Each company has its rules and regulations when it comes to your email account. If you are allowed to use it for personal use, then try to keep it to a minimum.

Be sure to answer all of your meeting requests promptly to avoid over cluttering your inbox. These emails may or may not delete on their own once they move to your calendar section.

If you have some essential emails with those to-do tasks from your boss? Then make those their separate folder so you can take care of them quickly and efficiently. By putting them in their folder, they won’t get lost!

However, you choose to manage your inbox is entirely up to you. Just be sure to keep it organized in the best way that works for your daily tasks.