To CC, or Not to CC; That is the question


Email overload in an epidemic in the world at large and in corporate world in particular. The McKinsey Global Institute found that an average employee spends 13 hours a week reading and responding to email. That’s by far the most time-consuming work activity at 28% of our work time.

In 2015, each day, the world exchanges 205 bn emails

In this, a major culprit is the culture of CC, which creates a toxic epidemic of endless proportions.

There is a spectrum of reasons why people mark their bosses and your bosses.
a) “Reverence CC”- I mark the boss because I want to boost his/her ego. I acknowledge you as the omnipresent, omniscient caretaker of all that happens in this department. I am fairly confident that without your kind intervention, I can never get anything done in the organization

b) “FYI CC” – I want to be forthright in my communication with stakeholders and everyone to be in the loop.

c) “CYA i.e. Cover Your Ass CC”, where I loop in the boss because basically I am trying to insulate myself from the aftermath of this conversation turning sour.

d) “Oblique threat CC”- look, you’ve cold shouldered me on this issue beyond limits, now face the music for the same

e) “Blind CC”, which I am marking boss in bcc; because he/she wants to micromanage, which comes straight from a detective series, as if the phones are being tapped by the police. This is a clear violation on ethics in communication

Whatever be the intent, the result of this surplus communication should not be reduction in both trust and productivity.

Since corporate culture is primarily top-town, leaders should check if they require or encourage being cc’d on everything that happens. People should receive cc’d emails only if they are critical to achieving the work objectives in those emails If there is a problem, team members should be encouraged to have a ‘one to one’ meeting instead of creating an E-Corporate Tamasha

If we significantly cut down the number of our cc’d emails and we start trusting each other, we will raise everyone’s confidence, satisfaction and effectiveness.

Let’s strive to ensure that we are more doing and less CC’ing