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Outlook ‘Send Later’ Can Improve Productivity & Professionalism

The Outlook ‘Send Later’ option offers professionals increased productivity and communication proficiency benefits. It also allows clear heads to prevail. 

Industry leaders are passionate people by nature, and when an email shows up that grates on your emotions, it may not be in your best interest to respond immediately. Business professionals can have the same knee-jerk reaction to emotional messages or bad news as everyone else. Typing angry and hitting send can set off a chain of events that impedes productivity or, worse, burns an industry bridge.

Fortunately for everyone who sends and receives an email, the technology experts at Microsoft understand the setbacks that can occur people who type responses while still hot under the collar. That’s why the Outlook email platform offers an option called “Send Later.” The emotional safety net not only shields us from setting off a barrage of heated communications, but it has also emerged as a valuable time-management and professional resource.

How Does ‘Send Later’ Option Work?

The Outlook Send Later option is pretty straight forward, even though it tends to be widely overlooked. These are the necessary steps to schedule an email to be delivered at a specific time.

  • Draft your new email, reply, or forward message
  • Go to Microsoft Outlook Options near the Send tab.
  • Select Send Later or Delay Deliver
  • Check Do Not Deliver Before
  • Set the time and date for the email to send automatically
  • Exit out and hit Send

While your emotions level off, the message will remain on hold. This can allow ample time to think logically about critical next steps, and whether to revise, reword, or simply go in and delete the email. Cooler heads prevail when professionally-worded electronic communications set the tone. That being said, the Send Later option also enjoys time efficiency applications outside of human emotion.

Send Later Can Increase Email Professionalism

Aside from the heated emotions, constant emails tend to become something of a distraction. One typical response is to rip off quick responses that come across as less than professional. Typos, missing attachments, or non-existent CCs do not impress peers, bosses, or clients.

According to a Forbes article called Basic Email Mistakes That Make You Look Really Unprofessional, “the forum is often the number one way you have of communicating with a client, boss, or networking person, you must get it right. And not just for the sticklers out there, but for yourself — you’d hate for the recipient to miss the point of the message because he or she’s focused on an (avoidable) error. Today a typo loses you a little bit of respect with a co-worker, tomorrow it could very well lose you a job opportunity with a person you meet at a conference.”

By utilizing the Send Later option in a fashion that schedules your communications to one or two set periods each day, professionals can plan time to circle back and review critical messages and make necessary changes. There’s no reason to have an egg on your face due to hasty emailing.

Outlook Time Management Strategies

The strategy of setting emails to go out at one or two designated times has demonstrated increased productivity benefits. One of the primary reasons rests on the fact that most email recipients don’t utilize the Send Later option and respond promptly. The back and forth tends to eat up far too much time. According to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute, “The average interaction worker spends an estimated 28 percent of the workweek managing e-mail.”

By coordinating bulk email deliveries, you can anticipate the inbox will swell shortly after yours are received. Strategies such as setting Send Later to just before lunch carves out a logical window to review incoming email when returning to the office or before resuming profit-driving tasks. Some industry leaders schedule another delivery at the day’s end with an understanding they start the following day by reading an email.

Industry professionals may want to consider leveraging the Send Later option to avoid heated exchanges, improve email professionalism, and integrate electronic communications into a workday productivity strategy that serves your interests.