Work Email and “Work” Email

There are different expectations for different emails. It’s tempting to make broad declarations like “emails don’t have the same expectation of immediate reply as a text message does”, but that’s not taking into account any context.

If your boss emails you and says “Take a look at this and let me know your thoughts”, there might be work culture expectations that this is done immediately. Maybe your next raise depends on it. That’s a Work Email. Whereas if you get an email like “Check out this new app we made, let’s talk integration ideas” from someone you don’t even know, the expectations there are very different. A fast reply might signal extreme eagerness and a slow reply some kind of power play. That’s a “Work” Email. I say “Work” in quotes as it’s Work-related but likely not a direct and vital responsibility like a Work Email. Different context.

I mention this as I think most people deal with all sorts of different emails. Work and “Work” being just two buckets. There is Family, Friends, Side-Project, News, Purchases, Life-Management, and the UGHAKDKH-Bucket, to name a few of my own. Strategies for dealing with overwhelming email situations depend on the context. Are Work Emails causing overload? The solution to that is wholly different than an overload of “Work” or other bucks of emails. I want to make sure if I attempt to dole out email advice that it’s context aware.

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