AustrianZRH
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Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:18 am

A little background: I live in Zurich and am about to move in with my girlfriend on the beginning of March. So that I get out of my current apartment, I need to find someone willing to take it over. Furthermore, the market of apartments in Zurich is VERY saturated, very difficult to find one.

So I thought I'm doing potential apartment-seekers in my research institution a favour and ask them first by e-mail if someone is interested (it has taken about 3 min to get such a reply).

But 10 min later I receive a mail by some post doc that it's - quote - absolutely inappropriate to send such messages to everyone, disturbing everyone - unquote. Now I have to deal with my bad conscience on one side and am a bit annoyed about the complaint - how much effort does it take to hit the delete button - because I only had the best in mind.

So what's your opinion?
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
Elite
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:35 am

I wouldn't do something like that, just to be safe. But it really depends on the environment of your workplace. In many places, there are often emails exchanged between co-workers about things like this, or cars they want to sell etc, but I believe it varies from case to case. You should know your work environment the best and make the best judgment. Some people will be very annoyed at having more mails to go through on top of the hundreds that they receive, while others will have absolutely no problem with it.
 
lhr380
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:40 am

Where I work we have bulletin boards, where, with agreement from the company, we can post for sale items, cars, flats for rent etc.
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cpd
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:50 am

I think it is done to reasonable use.

Unless you sent it out to all thousands of people in the company, that's not right. But to a smaller group of people, I think this kind of thing is okay.

However, the joke emails are not okay. It might seem like it is harmless, but it is better to be safe than sorry - and further more, in my profession, everything falls under FOI!
 
AustrianZRH
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:50 am

Ok, looks like I was indeed wrong in doing it, and I won't do it again. However, I didn't have any bad thoughts as I have received several "apartment infos" like that in the last year. Probably they all got the same responses.
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
Elite
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:51 am



Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 4):
Ok, looks like I was indeed wrong in doing it, and I won't do it again. However, I didn't have any bad thoughts as I have received several "apartment infos" like that in the last year. Probably they all got the same responses.

There is no need to be sad about it. I know the feeling when someone emails you back complaining or telling you're wrong, but like you said, you're probably not the only one and it is really not your fault.
 
AustrianZRH
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:05 pm



Quoting Elite (Reply 5):
There is no need to be sad about it. I know the feeling when someone emails you back complaining or telling you're wrong, but like you said, you're probably not the only one and it is really not your fault.

Thanks, that really makes me feel a bit better now  Smile.
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lincoln
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:26 pm

Postal mail or email?

Quoting Elite (Reply 1):
You should know your work environment the best and make the best judgment.

Yes, yes, yes. In my workplace a substantial amount of not work-related email gets sent (along with IMs of YouTube videos, etc.) -- from the president down and up. We view it as a nice distraction and everyone is smart enough to read if they have time and are interested, read later if busy, or delete of not interested.

Other places I've encountered you could very well get yourself run out of the building if you sent a personal message to people you didn't have a close work relationship with.
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falstaff
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:50 pm



Quoting Lincoln (Reply 7):
Yes, yes, yes. In my workplace a substantial amount of not work-related email gets sent (along with IMs of YouTube videos, etc.) -- from the president down and up.

That pretty much is how things are at my work. I have friends who have strict policies on email use at their jobs. So I guess it is up to the work place.

I even use my work for a address to have things mailed to me. If I am going to have something shipped to me I usually have it shipped to work because I will be around to sign for it or it will get left in the office. I don't have to worry about the mail man leaving it on the porch.
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AustrianZRH
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:44 pm



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 8):
That pretty much is how things are at my work. I have friends who have strict policies on email use at their jobs. So I guess it is up to the work place.

I even use my work for a address to have things mailed to me. If I am going to have something shipped to me I usually have it shipped to work because I will be around to sign for it or it will get left in the office. I don't have to worry about the mail man leaving it on the porch.

It's normally the same with my place. I guess somehow this one guy just was in a bad mood. And it was an e-mail, of course. I was thinking in German again, where the "e" is often skipped as the postal mail is usually referred to by its German name while the English word is used for electronic mail...

Thanks for your replies, anyway  Smile.
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varigb707
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:05 pm

At work i use Lotus Notes to exchange (work related) emails. Our employer kind of frowns upon personal messages. So we found a loop hole : Gmail, for non related work messages.
Or my own personal mobile(G1 with Google).
Is all.....
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NIKV69
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:29 pm

Good practice at work is now personal emails and no personal calls unless emergency.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:34 pm

Ideally....Work related mails only at Workplace......makes more sense.
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nighthawk
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:54 pm

I dont think the issue is with you sending personal / receiving personal mail, but rather the fact that you sent unsolicited, bulk email (ie SPAM) to everyone in the company. Personal email is often tolerated as it doesnt harm anyone, but mass spamming annoys others, and starts a dangerous trend. You advertising a flat one day, someone else advertising a car the next - before long your work inbox will be full of emails from colleagues selling things
 
dxing
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:34 pm

Quoting Nighthawk (Reply 13):
You advertising a flat one day, someone else advertising a car the next - before long your work inbox will be full of emails from colleagues selling things

  

Which is why we get regular notices from the company as to the official uses of company email. Have to agree that it was not the right thing to do but if there was no guidance from the company beforehand, and it appears there wasn't, no reason to feel sad or bad about it. At least you've learned what company policy is albeit the hard way.  

[Edited 2010-01-07 12:34:44]
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signol
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:37 pm

My company has an email group called social@company.com that everyone by default is a member of. People can opt out if they want, or set up email filter rules to move to folders with less priority on their time, etc. On an average day, there will be maybe 3 or 4 mails to this address, sometimes someone selling a car, or asking if anyone can recommend a plumber... Overall this system works very well in our office, about 200 people.

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Fabo
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:08 pm

I think the post-doc overreacted (unless you sent it really to everyone at your company and beyond).
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cpd
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RE: Non Work-related Mails At Workplace - Appropriate?

Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:31 pm



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 8):
I even use my work for a address to have things mailed to me. If I am going to have something shipped to me I usually have it shipped to work because I will be around to sign for it or it will get left in the office. I don't have to worry about the mail man leaving it on the porch.

I do the same thing. And our office is secure too, so it's much safer. Plus, everyone knows my office location, the building is in a prominent location - you can't possibly get lost trying to find the address.

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