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Long-term management of ex-employee e-mail

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It's easy enough to process e-mail list unsubscribes and give each manager a second "ex-employee" mailbox, as suggested in the tip: Handle a former employee's mail.

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But to take it one step further, I do not provide managers access to the rules for this mailbox and set it to autodelete after one month (to keep it relatively clean). Then I add new ex-employees to the SMTP recipient list for that mailbox and leave the manager to pull out anything he wants within a month or request it from backup tape later. Mail management then becomes the manager's problem, and he can route customer traffic to replacements, notify customers of the change and so forth.

Reading corporate e-mail isn't a legal issue here as each employee is notified in writing when they join the company that e-mail is monitored and for company use only. They are free to sign up for a webmail service (none of which are blocked at our firewall) for personal mail, which isn't monitored and for which a modest amount of usage during the day is tolerated.

This was first published in January 2004

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