While he says it’s to balance his personal life with his professional life, the practice of sending private work emails (when you don’t work with your spouse or partner) seems to be a breach of privacy ... and rather unusual.
"It took me a while to figure out, but including each other in your entire daily life” is crucial, he said of his relationship with Emilia. “[It's] actually pretty common sense when you think about it. I’ll BCC [my wife] on emails so that she’ll know what I went through during the day. That synergy in a relationship I think goes a really, really long way.”
Perhaps Ryan could let her know what happened during the day while over dinner that night instead?
Married since 2016, Emilia is successful in her own right, working in Land Title insurance. "Ryan works all the time and this is the one way I could think of us connecting in business," she says.
Come to think of it, who would even want to see their partner’s work emails? Unless you’re into some Sleeping With the Enemy controlling behavior (line up those soup cans!) we really can’t see the point. It’s nice to stay in touch with your partner throughout the day, but doesn’t “what did you get for lunch?” suffice? Also, if you work in a really corporate environment, aren’t you breaking some sort of rule by sharing sensitive information with your partner who doesn’t work with you?
So ... is it ever OK to BCC your significant other on your work emails?
Well, yes, if you work in business together, a similar field maybe, or if you own a business together. But if your work is unrelated, it would be wise to pause before forwarding along for many, many reasons, ranging from privacy issues to insanity issues.
Business Insider has talked about stopping using BCC altogether — and brings up a really good point as to why.
“By adding a BCC you are essentially creating an email eavesdropper — deliberately hiding the identity of that BCC'd individual from the recipient. Once exposed, the practice erodes trust,” Business Insider reports. “And it often gets exposed like a secret when you least expect it.”
There’s also etiquette most people follow when it comes to who gets what email and when. Waterford Technologies released some rules for employees on how to use CC and BCC effectively, since people mess this up all the time.
“Email is increasingly being seen as a drain on management time. Largely because of the sheer volume of messages received and because managers often have no means of prioritizing those that really need their attention. This scenario could easily be avoided if users made better use of the basic tools available in all email browsers. Appropriate use of the ‘To’, ‘CC’ and ‘BCC’ fields is a good way to start.”
To be more productive and efficient, they say, here are a few simple guidelines:
The “To” field should only include those users who are directly affected by the message you are sending. “Think of it as asking somebody to do something; whether that’s replying with information and comment, forwarding on to someone else or simply reading and noting the content. Typically, those people you include in the To field will be included in your email’s opening line e.g. “Dear Bill and Joan.”
The CC (Carbon Copy) field is intended for those who may need to know about the main content of the email but need take no action themselves. Think of it as “for information only” but only when the information is not critical. Consider whether the information is genuinely of interest to the receiver or just a “nice to know.”
And when to use the BCC field?
The BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) means that recipients in the To and CC fields will be unable to see users addressed in this way. “This can be useful when you want your manager to be aware of something that you are dealing with, but don’t want them to take action.
“The blind carbon copy field is also useful when you are sending a communication to a list of individuals who need the same information but shouldn’t be able to see the email addresses of every other person receiving the message.This field may also be used in sensitive situations where you do not want the recipient to know you have added others to the email. For example, adding your boss to BCC when dealing with a complaint. This allows them to see what action has been taken without the customer being aware.”
But remember a few things; determine is this email business-related or not? Would recipients get upset if you shared their email addresses with others? Is the email discussion private?
And just make sure you keep it private. Make sure no one hits “reply all” with a shady response or making fun at a coworker’s expense that’s gonna land you in hot water.
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