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What is a good netiquette time frame for email responses?

I think it is good netiquette to wait at least 15 minutes to reply to an email. What do you think? Is that too long? Maybe 5 minutes for professional email within your department and 15 minutes for email that are outside your department or company? 30 minutes for educational email?

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It is always better to respond as soon as you get the mail, but may be for some reason you get busy, then find out which mail is imporatant. Respond those quickly. Some mails can be waited to get a reply. There is another way too. If you have other responsibilities that keep you from responding in detail, a short message stating your situation and that you will respond in detail as soon as you can is highly recommended.

Definitely good advice. I have been in situations where I could not compose correspondence until I had proper documentation from other departments within the company. An email with an estimated time for the completion of a request is very helpful in situations where you need a response before you can do something.

I agree with Dorothy and David that a reply as soon as possible is always appropriate. And, if it is not possible to reply within 24 work/business hours, a message briefly outlining the circumstances delaying a response is an important action to take.

Thank you for your input. We are coming to a consensus. Academics agree that the 24 hour phone rule applies to email netiquette in terms of when it is opened. Faster replies are generally better. It may take some time for everyone to agree, but I am glad to see a lot of agreement around this topic.

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