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Diverting email on behalf of absent staff

By timw ·
I'm wondering what people have in form of policies regarding requests to divert a person's email to a colleague whilst that person is away. We provide an "Out of office manager" tool which lets users activate a company-standard message and opt to either copy or just divert emails to a colleague whilst they're away. This is working really well but every now and then people forget to activate the message before they leave. We then get requests to enable the message and set up a divert.

However, a couple of cases have cropped up where a user has had personal emails diverted to a colleague and has been somewhat upset about this, and we're getting the flack. I've pointed out that the email service is for business use only, and referred the users to the AUP document on our Intranet, but everyone knows that everyone uses email for personal use so it's hard to enforce this.

I'm curious to hear what other organisations do in these cases.

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Expect no Privacy

by Roger99a In reply to Diverting email on behalf ...

Expect no Privacy is the rule. Our Employee Handbook clearly states thatall email belongs to the company. I've never had to divert mail for a currently employed person, but in many cases I have made a person's emails available to their former supervisor.
In your case my response would be that they need to take it up with their supervisor's supervisor. It's not an IT issue, it's a management issue.

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Sometimes it has to be done

by GoJints In reply to Diverting email on behalf ...

Someone is going on vacation, or out for an extended sick period. They are working on a time-sensitive project and their email is needed to track progress.

Every staff member needs to be reminded that their office email is company property. If they give it out to friends, they should know it is subject to review by their supervisor, etc.

It is clearly stated in our employee handbook that your company email address belongs to the company and is subject to review AT ANY TIME as needed by management.

Perhaps your employees need to be reminded of the regulations.

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what about HR stuff

by timw In reply to Sometimes it has to be do ...

ok... so let's say we head down the route of stating all email is company property. what about where someone's in discussion with the HR department about something private, and then a colleague gets "in the loop" through the act of diverting the email to that colleague. could get messy.

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Well One thing

by j.lupo In reply to what about HR stuff

one thing I can think of is that any company e-mail address should be easily identifiable. That would help somewhat because you should be able to know who is sending a message to whom. If it is a company e-mail then you can redirect accordingly.

I know on our system everybody's account specifies what department they are in. In fact we even have groups set up so that consultants don't get employee information.

Just a thought.

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small company

by timw In reply to Well One thing

we're a fairly medium-sized company. about 110 regular email users. all our addresses are initials.surname@company.co.uk

we could moe to initials.surname@dept.company.co.uk but that would cause a lot of upheaval.

we're going to be moving to Exchange 2003 later this year though, so may consider moving to this sort of structure as, like you say, it has benefits.

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Actually

by j.lupo In reply to small company

we developed an interface to our Exchange server and just use the database to do lookups on the e-mail addresses. We are all FirstInitial.LastName@company.com

At other companies that used Exchange, they did the same thing. I don't work in that area specifically so I don't know the specifics.

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Re HR Stuff

by GoJints In reply to what about HR stuff

When we forward emails within the company, they get forwarded to someone of equal or higher rank in the same department.

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