Stop Cc’ing Me Into F*cking Emails

cc emails

Ever walked into work and been met by your worst nightmare? Even worse than your boss calling an 8am meeting?  For me and many around the globe the cc email is the devil in disguise. The cc email can quite frankly destroy productivity at any time. Having worked in a marketing department for a large organisation the longer you have worked within the organisation the more you are cc’ed into emails.

If someone has a question about something marketing related you will be cc’ed into an email even though it’s not directly linked to your job role. You will sit back in horror as the email trail begins to take over your inbox. Everyone is adding their two cents and your email inbox has become a monster in disguise. The faster you delete the emails the more they keep coming. Your productivity has hit an all time low and all you are doing is deleting emails instead of working on the strategy document.

OK maybe I’ve gone a little overboard here but you get the jist. I hate these guys I genuinely do. There’s no place for them.  Spend some time finding out more about your organisation and find out who does what and email them directly. Do not email a whole department asking a question which one person is paid to do. Learn something and show some self initiative instead of the splatter gun approach. It’s not cool.

Why cc emails are from hell:

Ruin Productivity:
Productivity is huge while in the office. In order to successfully manage your time properly then it’s essential you stay focused for the 7 hours you are employed to work. Email and especially cc emails ruin productivity significantly. The sound or the visual of emails popping up in your inbox stifles your productivity and you will ultimately lose focus. I have highlighted cc emails in this as more often than not cc emails are actually counterproductive emails which serve as nothing but a distraction. If the corporate world was rid of cc emails the majority of us would work smarter. Furthermore you would find people would stick to their working hours more rigidly and not have to work later. Quite often those who work late are the experienced staff members who find themselves CC’ed into a significant amount of emails.

Not only does it ruin your productivity but it distracts you. You will lose focus; lose your flow and the quality of your work declines. It’s hard to pick up your work flow after a distraction and cc emails are just this. You begin to follow the trail and will be off track. The distraction has therefore occurred and it will be difficult to reattach yourself to your work. Distractions are the worst in the workplace and for me cc emails are one of the main causes of this.

Waste valuable time:
People waste time with email in general. I’ve seen some managers in senior positions who are literally kings and queens of email. They have the emailing game well and truly nailed. CC emails can waste valuable time you have in the office. As I mentioned above you typically have 7 hours to fit all your daily tasks into. I personally do not advise working anymore than your contracted hours; once you do it becomes a slippery slope. Receiving a batch of cc emails can waste your valuable time within the office. If each email takes 5 minutes to read and digest and you receive 10 cc emails a day then that’s 50 minutes a day, 250 minutes a week of potentially pointless emails. Manage those around you, explain your stance on cc emails, preach to the masses and drive change.

Test my patience:
Work can be an immensely frustrating place. That frustration level increases a notch when you get bombarded with emails which are not related to your job role. These test my patience. This type of occurrence is regular within traditional organisations. Ryan works on the web so automatically knows how to fix our shopping cart. WRONG. Ryan works in SEO. But because of a lack of knowledge throughout the organisation you will quite commonly be cc’ed into any email which is remotely related to the web.

Is this really a big problem? Well, yes it is. Not only does it annoy you when you are working on a project but it also distracts you, wastes valuable time and ruins productivity. Removing this ambiguity surrounding job roles and understanding what your peers do will prevent this type of situation occurring.

When are cc emails acceptable?

Directly related to my job role:
There are times when a cc email can be related to your job role. Maybe an area of the business is working on a project and they require some expertise. If the cc email is directly related to your role and is understanding of your work load then it is acceptable.

Controversially for some I also hugely dislike cc emails asking for specific tasks from each individual cc’ed into the email. Sure it speeds up the process but it’s immensely impersonal and it doesn’t inspire you to get the work done. A tailored email however detailing the task at hand, what is required of that specific individual and the deadline works much better. I recently received a cc email detailing a task at hand and it wasn’t clear what my role in the task was. It took a further three emails for me to understand my role in the task. An individually tailored email would have worked far better and I would have understood the first time. Ironically the time saver becomes a time stealer.

If it’s a team email:
The majority of us who work within corporate organisations will work within a team. This is a prime situation of where cc emails are acceptable. If your manager requires an email to be read by the whole team then a cc email can be used. It has a purpose, it’s informative and it’s relevant to what you are doing. It could also be an email to discuss times of team meetings. Again this is acceptable. Sometimes communication between team members needs to happen via email and in this case cc emails are acceptable.

If it’s a Friday Youtube video:
It’s Friday, it’s a day to celebrate, a day to embrace and a day to smile. If you work a standard 9-5 then there is nothing better than arriving into work on a Friday to a funny Youtube clip. Not only is this great for the social side of work but it also reminds you it’s the weekend and you will have time to recharge your batteries.

I appreciate this goes against my productivity and unwelcome distractions point earlier but on a Friday one Youtube clip is a necessity. This is also fantastic for team morale and the overall dynamics of an organisation.

Monday – Thursday I would say this email is a waste of valuable time however on a Friday this in my opinion is healthy to promote togetherness in the organisation/team.

If it involves beers:
Beers/ Social events bring teams together. They built relationships within an organisation, promote teamwork and friendship. CC emails are widely used to announce social events as its one message to a large selection of individuals. This scenario is when CC emails are used to maximum affect. You can reach a huge audience fast. These type of CC emails are healthy within an organisation. Social events should be a regular occurrence on the calendar of most corporate companies. Sure organised fun can be a little cringe worthy however it’s valuable for getting to know people within the organisation and understanding them in an out of work capacity.

Social events promote friendship and relationships which transfer well within the workplace. Those who know their colleagues will be more productive as they will know who to speak to about a specific area. We may also see a reduction in cc emails.

I appreciate I may sound like a fossil throughout this post but I’m certain I am not the only one in utter dismay after receiving a cc email.  Most of the time there is absolutely no need for these type of mass destruction emails and lets be real they waste time, huge amounts of time. When emailing someone about a specific task if you are going to use cc emails then make sure you define the EXACT requirement for each individual. Failing to do this will lead to confusion and further emails from EACH person copied into the email. It’s a time waster and an inbox flooder.

By removing these unwelcome distractions everybody will be more productive while in the office I guarantee you. It will also preserve ones sanity.

About the author

Ryan Gibson

Hey! I'm a 28 year old digital marketing guy residing in Leeds, England. My skill is in search marketing and I have gathered over 6 years experience of working on large multilingual campaigns for a number of FTSE 250 Organisations. After accepting a role with a business based in Singapore I began questioning traditional business practice and employee retention. This blog was therefore born with focus on Y in the workplace. A millennial child at heart I aim to provide a voice for the 'misunderstood' generation and my goal is simply to change perception and corporate mind set on work/life attitudes; inspiring companies and individuals to seek change.


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