When am I going to get a response to my email?!
Hi, I'm Mark Brownlee, the CEO of this GERTES project. GERTES® (Global Email Response-Time Expectation System) (pronounced “gerts”) aims to eliminate the email response-time expectation gap between email sender and receiver.
Not too long ago, people around the world communicated mainly by post ("snail mail"). Turn-around times were in days or weeks. Nowadays with email, the response-time can be virtually instant. And... it can be expected to be instant— regardless of the fact that you may have 250 emails in your Inbox...
This new way of communicating via email can be, and is, great. It's not so great however, when, as mentioned, you have 250 emails in your Inbox such as after a weekend or after you've been on vacation. Also, as you may have noticed, different people in the world and in your organization have different expectations as to when it is reasonable that an email should be responded to. An email marked Urgent may mean 2 days to the email recipient but 2 hours to the email sender.
It's not so much the time delay of an email response that can cause frustration and stress but it can be more the lack of communication of email response-time expectations. For example:
When there's such an expectation gap, people can get frustrated as an unknown email response-time introduces business risk into their business life:
- What's reasonable for one organization may be unreasonable for another
- What's reasonable for one industry/profession may be unreasonable for another
- What's reasonable for one job type (e.g. an office worker) be unreasonable for another (e.g. A CEO)
- What's reasonable for one organization type (e.g. Government) may be unreasonable for another (e.g. Dotcom company)
- And even what's reasonable for one country may be unreasonable for another.
Not only does GERTES allow an email sender to include an expected response-time in an email (which can be seen by all email programs— even if they don't yet have GERTES) but GERTES also gives the email recipient the option to modify the expectation if they choose. Any response-time modification is automatically shown back on the sender's email program.
- "Shall I wait for Mike to respond (it's been three days now) or shall I just ask Amy to be the project leader since I don't think Mike is interested. Surely he would have responded by now if he were?"
- "This potential supplier has taken 7 days to respond to my email. If that's their normal response-time to my questions I don't want to take them on as a preferred supplier."
- "I hope they realize I on have about 2-3 days before I have to make a decision on this. Any more than 4 days and I'll just have to look elsewhere."
GERTES provides great benefits for individuals and organizations alike:
- Convey email response-time expectations to others to keep your workflow running smoothly
- Remove response uncertainty— reduce stress
- Counter 'e-diction' (the temptation to always answer an email straight away to convey to the sender the idea that you are conscientious or that you care about their business)
- Find out what email response-time you can expect from others (see Check Rating)
"GERTES... allowing people to move back more to plan-driven rather than distraction-driven work, which is much more productive."
Peter Murphy PhD
Professor of Communications
Monash University, Victoria, Australia
I invite you to GERTES-enable your email now to see the difference it makes to your own and your organization's productivity and efficiency. Download it here (it's free)—