Allowing employees to use their personal e-mail address for business purposes can have severe consequences.

You are the owner of a business and you want all of your employees to have a professional e-mail address “xyz@yourcompany.com”. But configuring a mailbox setup for each person seems to be hassle. The easy solution seems to be to set up the company address but then to just forward all messages to the employee’s personal account that they have set up already anyway. Problem solved, so you think.

Think Again

Problem # 1:

Let’s assume the personal e-mail address of our sample employee is honeybunny@aol.com. With a forwarder set up, any message that is sent to xyz@yourcompany.com goes directly to honeybunny@aol.com. The employee reads the message on his aol account and replies to the message as honeybunny@aol.com. NOW, the customer wrote a message to xyz@yourcompany.com, will she open a message from honeybunny@aol.com? How professional does that address look? Besides, all responses and follow up e-mails will go directly to honeybunny@aol.com.

Problem # 2:

Lets say the employee with the address xyz@yourcompany.com becomes sick for a longer period of time (or you separate ways), you will not have access to the history of the business communications. YOUR customers will have honeybunny@aol.com in their address book and will continue writing to that address. You have no way of knowing what is going on, if e-mails are responded to or let YOUR customers know that XYZ is temporarily unavailable or that a new person is taking over that job. How much business will you loose?

Cutting corners usually bites you later. Therefore, set your employees up with a mailbox that reflects your business domain and that separates business from personal e-mails. As a business owner, you need to stay in control. You just have to.