Reply All? Please Don’t!
I'm sure this happens in your office: someone sends an e-mail to everyone in the organization asking a question or making a statement of fact. Then, instead of replying back just to the sender, too many people send their comment or answer by hitting REPLY ALL.
Not to be cold and uncaring, but if it doesn't concern me directly, then I don't need to know what your response is. What makes matters worse is when I am in the middle of a project and I receive 17 e-mails within a matter of minutes.
Here is the typical scenario: I receive an e-mail from one person asking question. I drop what I am doing, see the e-mail, and reply back to the sender. I start working on the projec...BEEP BEEP. My phone alerts me to another e-mail. So I drop everything to see what it is. Oh look...it's someone replying back to the sender by hitting REPLY ALL. This goes on for the next 20-minutes. BEEP BEEP, stop what you are doing, read an e-mail that you didn't need to receive, then try to go back to what you were doing.
I have had this happen while trying to relax at home. A work e-mail comes in at 9:00pm. I see it, then make a determination whether to reply to the sender now or wait until the morning to respond. At 9:25pm - twelve e-mails later, I am ready to throw my phone through the wall. If I had the opportunity to shut my phone off at night, I would. But due to other obligations I cannot.
What sucks even more is when the e-mails become running jokes between two or three people WHO KEEP HITTING REPLY ALL!
I worked for an organization that had a "no reply all" policy, and rightly so. There were over 1100 sales reps, 350 managers, and 600 support staff. I could only imagine the chaos that would ensue if everyone replied to all when answering corporate questions.
Bottom line is: If you are asked a question in a bulk e-mail, I don't care what your answer is, nor do I need to know that you hopping on the "congratulations bandwagon" (you should do this personally or in an individual e-mail, anyway). If I need to be involved, reply to me directly. But please stop hitting REPLY ALL!