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3 Tips for Coming Back to a Simpler Inbox After Vacation

As HR managers, we receive emails from nearly every employee, as well as countless vendors. The many emails received in a day add up to one thing if we’re out of the office for over a week or even just a few days–inbox chaos! Email is our primary method of communication in our professional lives, so it’s important to maintain your inbox and carefully sort through every email so as not to miss important information. So how do you sort through the clutter after a long vacation? Here are three things to focus on:

  1. Set aside time before you leave.

Before you leave for vacation, set aside time on the calendar on the day you return from vacation. Your typical email load will determine how much time you need, but it’s best to set aside at least an hour. Make sure your colleagues know that you will need uninterrupted time when you get back to ensure you’re caught up on all communications and try to make it your first-time slot of the day.

  1. Have a strategy.

Before you step out of the office, remember to do two additional steps. First, set an auto-reply away message. Even if you’re only out for a few days, this will let colleagues, vendors, and clients know the date when you will return and when they can expect a reply, as well as who they should contact in the meantime. Second, send a quick email to those who you are in contact with most, letting them know you will be out of the office. This will give them a subtle hint not to contact you while you’re away.

  1. Unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe!

When’s the last time you actually read that email newsletter from a long-forgotten vendor? It’s time to unsubscribe from all of the email subscriptions you no longer read. It’s also best to ensure that no personal email subscriptions, such as to retail stores or restaurants, are on your work account. By using a free service such as, you can see a list of every email list you’re on and unsubscribe with one click. This could save you from sorting through hundreds of unnecessary emails on your first day back in the office.

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