Do you know replying is better late than never?

Last updated by Chloe Lin [SSW] 10 months ago.See history

You should always try and reply to emails and IM messages within a timely period, but this is not always possible.

Sometimes people see a 6-month old task/question, and just delete/ignore thinking it's "too old"... or because "the customer will think we're a joke taking this long to do something!" No matter how long it takes to do some tasks, it's always better to get it done.

Of course, there are tasks that can be irrelevant with the passage of time. You should still reply and state that you don't believe it is needed anymore.

Always reply to emails and IM messages regardless of how long it takes to respond. It shows you value the sender's input and they'll know their ideas and suggestions are not ignored.

delete outlook message button
Figure: Bad example - Hitting the 'Delete' button without replying

no reply
Figure: Bad example - A chat with no answer

Hi Bob,

Sorry for the late reply


Figure: Good example - Getting an old task done

Hi Bob,

This is an old one. I tried to call you but you were not available. This still looks relevant so I will start this old task today or tomorrow

  1. Please let me know if you don't want that

Figure: Good example - Asking if an old task is still wanted

Hi Bob,

I assume this is too late now. Sorry I missed this one

Figure: Good example - Informing a task is not relevant anymore

Hi Bob,

Cleaning my inbox... Checked and this task was already done a few months ago

Figure: Good example - Informing a task was already done

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