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Texting the boss is better than sending an email

Experts say there are an estimated 100 billion emails sent per day around the world, yet only 14% of those are considered critical to the running of a business, according to The Australian Financial Review. It’s no wonder the text message has overtaken email as the best way to get important information to your boss.

Texts create a sense of urgency because they are usually immediately visible and there’s an unwritten rule in the business world that texts are higher up in the queue when it comes to importance. Chairman of the Australian Human Resources Institute Peter Wilson says texts are an acceptable reason to excuse yourself from a meeting.

However, Wilson cautions that just as the checking of emails needs to be kept to a minimum, the importance of a text needs to be carefully considered before a reply is sent. He believes checking emails every two hours is sufficient for senior executives and warns those working from home not to distract themselves by replying to everything straight away so their bosses don’t think they’re slacking while out of the office.

Juliet Bourke, a partner with Deloitte, says the text is powerful, but businesses need to establish protocols around their usage. She believes those who work closely with executives, such as PAs, should be more free to text their boss because it creates a sense of immediacy.

Companies with employees in multiple countries also need to establish a policy surrounding emails and texts when there are people in different time zones working on the same project. Junior members of staff may feel compelled to answer messages from another office straight away, even if it arrives in the middle of the night or at the weekend. There should be a rule that sets a standard for waiting for replies until the next working day.

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