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Sunday, 13 August 2017 | MYT 11:00 AM

How to avoid e-mail overload when you come back from holiday

When you return to work after a holiday, there always seems to be an overwhelming mountain of e-mail correspondence to wade through.  — dpa

When you return to work after a holiday, there always seems to be an overwhelming mountain of e-mail correspondence to wade through. — dpa

Opening your inbox when you come back from a period away can be an alarming experience. Most people try to finish projects before they leave, going through their inbox and tidying up any loose ends. But even so, when you return to work, there always seems to be an overwhelming mountain of correspondence to wade through. 

However, with these tips and rules from German consumer organisation Teuv Rheinland, you'll be able to reduce the number of e-mails waiting in your inbox when you come back from holiday.

 Don't send group e-mails: Individual messages for individual colleagues are often better than long e-mails to many recipients. This ensures that everyone only gets the information they really need – and you won't get unwanted replies clogging up your mailbox.

– Filter out CC mails: E-mails with countless CC recipients cost time and strain nerves, but are common in many companies. If that's the case for you, consider setting up your mail in such a way that CC mails automatically end up in a separate folder.

– Use concrete subject lines: It should be clear from the subject line of the email what the recipient has to do with it. Tuev Rheinland recommends establishing fixed abbreviations, such as "FYI" for "For your information" or "A" for "Awaiting your reply," for example.

 Set clear out-of-office responses: Travellers should create notifications of absence for both internal and external contacts. These should inform every sender exactly the recipient will be back, making the mailbox less likely to burst from enquiries.

– Establish clear stand-in rules: Your holiday cover should always have access to your mailbox. That way, at least some of the messages can be processed, and holidaymakers won't be struck immediately by a flood of e-mails when they return. — dpa

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