Don’t Let Your Inbox Rule Your Vacation

02 Sep Don’t Let Your Inbox Rule Your Vacation

We’ve all dreaded an inbox of emails after a long vacation—or even just the weekend. Today, with enterprise social networks gaining adoption in small businesses and large corporations, it’s likely some of these emails are notifications from your enterprise social network, such as Yammer or Chatter.

So, how do you make your enterprise social network best work for you and your inbox after a break from the office? Here are five quick tips:

Before Vacation

1.Manage Email Notifications BEFORE You Leave.

Most employees naturally adjust their email notification settings over time, depending on how they use their internal social network. If you check your enterprise social network often, you may not need to be notified by email every time someone @mentions you. However, if you rarely access your enterprise social network, you may want a daily email of everything you missed. Before you leave the office on vacation, decide which notifications are absolutely critical to see as soon as you are back—such as new posts about a key client project or updates from a group you manage.

2. Organize Email Inbox Notifications.

This is recommend with caution—if having a folder for all enterprise social network notifications keeps you organized and you check the folder often, consider creating an email rule. Funneling all your enterprise social network email notifications to one folder can help you batch the task of reviewing emails when you are back. However, make sure you don’t fall into the trap of ignoring the folder or not checking it often enough, causing you to miss important messages and defeating the purpose of an enterprise social network.

After Vacation

3. Prioritize Groups or Communities.

Depending on how long you are away from your email, you’ll have notifications from almost every Group, Team, or Community you are part of—and that can be overwhelming. Decide what projects or initiatives are most critical and navigate to those spaces in your enterprise network first or filter only for those notification emails. Handle the most urgent needs first to avoid getting caught up in previous everyday exchanges.

4. Respond To Direct @Mentions.

Even if you’ve marked your username with an OOO or have your status as such, other employees will still likely include you in conversations or discussions. Once you’ve checked your most urgent projects or initiatives, move on to responding to these direct questions or comments. @mentions indicate a post is important enough for someone to take the action to include you, so at least scan the message and decide if “liking” is enough or if a reply or comment is needed.   

5. Don’t Send More Emails.

Need to check the status of a project or progress on a deadline? Scroll through the Feed of that Group or Community dedicated to that project, client, or initiative first. Likely all the information and updates you need are gathered in one place in your enterprise social network, instead of scattered across multiple email messages. You’ll also save yourself the time of writing yet another email—and responding to responses to that email–and avoid answering questions or responding to problems already resolved.

These few quick and easy steps apply to all enterprise social networks and can make a world of difference when you are trying to catch up after returning from a short or long vacation. Let enterprise social networks work for you–it’s all in how you customize your experience using notifications and prioritizing tactics, whether you are in or out of the office.

Jackie Mills

Jackie loves learning, observing, and analyzing how businesses use social tools to engage employees, improve productivity, and connect with customers. As a Consultant for Enterprise Strategies, Jackie is passionate about helping companies improve communication and collaboration using enterprise social networks and intranets. She is a Microsoft Yammer Certified Community Manager and specializes in conducting research on social business advances and best practices for clients. Jackie is also Chief Happiness Officer at Enterprise Strategies, delivering sunshine and smiles always.

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