LinkedIn chief executive Jeff Weiner has revealed the most common email mistake people make — and how to escape the crush of the inbox.
Speaking to CNBC recently, Mr Weiner said it was "easy to overlook the importance of clarity and brevity in emails".
"The longer and more complex an email, the more questions get raised and people are looking for follow-up emails, and you have to send more emails and more responses come back and so on and so forth," he said.
It's widely noted that successful people tend to send shorter emails.
University of Southern California president C.L. Max Nikias argues a work email should be no longer than a text message, and that anything else should be dealt with on the phone or face-to-face.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is known for sending subordinates a single character, the dreaded "question mark".
Mr Weiner said phone calls were often preferable to sending an angry email.
"I use the phone in particular for people that are working outside of our Silicon Valley offices," he said.
"Often times, particularly in a volatile situation, people will send email. They're not always becoming a spectator to their own thoughts when they're authoring the email. They'll send something out that may trigger someone on the receiving end and you get a lot of vitriol going back and forth."
He said in those cases it was sometimes "best to just say, let's take this offline, get together and be able to provide additional context as to why people are upset or why there's friction".
"You can resolve things much faster that way," he said. "People don't get tone. The vast majority of human communication is subtextual, it's not necessarily the words, it's our body language and our voice inflection. Email outside of emoticons doesn't do a very good job of capturing that."
Justin Bariso, author of EQ Applied: The Real-World Guide To Emotional Intelligence, says the best thing to do is save your email as a draft and come back to it later.
"If the email is urgent, as little as five minutes (or another cup of coffee) can make a huge difference," he wrote in Inc Magazine. "Otherwise, give it a few hours — or even a day."
Mr Weiner said another common mistake was to include people in the "to" field when they should only be copied in. "Often times we have a tendency to use 'to' synonymously with 'cc'," he said.
"Everyone on the 'to' line thinks they should respond and every time someone responds, someone else feels the need to respond."
The most obvious way to reduce your email load, however, is simply to send less email.
"It was a lesson I learned at Yahoo," he said.
"I worked with a number of people who were very intense users of email. They ended up leaving the company, not in immediate succession but close enough where I could see it was having an impact on my inbox."
It comes after human resources specialist Karen Gately revealed the best and worst email greetings, sign-offs and subject lines to ensure your message doesn't go straight to the bin.
A recent survey by Adobe found the most hated email phrases among office workers were either passive-aggressive or demanding, with "Not sure if you saw my last email" named the worst.
In 2015, Australian advertising firm Atomic 212 said it was banning internal emails altogether to force employees to talk to one another — just like the old days.
A survey by Glassdoor last year revealed the most hated office jargon, including "touch base", "blue sky thinking", "game changer", "thought shower" and "no-brainer".