• Do not expect replies to emails sent outside of normal working hours, or even that your email will be read. Some members of staff may choose to work and write emails outside of normal working hours, but the Faculty wishes to remove any assumption that this is an expected or necessary practice. ‘Normal working hours’ refers to: 9.00 – 5.00, Monday – Friday,* but may vary depending on part-time working arrangements, and does not include annual leave. This is relevant to academic staff emailing administrators AND students emailing academic staff. The Faculty is fully supportive of this point.  The See also panel on this page includes a link to instructions for scheduling the sending of emails so that they should arrive during the working day.
  • Do speak to the Dean if a colleague or student is making you feel as though you should reply to emails or work outside of your normal working hours. This is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
  • On a similar note, do not feel as though you need to read your emails outside of your normal working hours, unless necessary (or an agreed part of your role). This is principally aimed at administrative staff: speak to your line manager if you feel as though you need to keep on top of emails when you’re on holiday – we don’t want you to.
  • Do not let emails rule your life. You can close Outlook, turn off notifications (especially outside of work hours – this is really important), wait to reply, pick up the phone instead or even go and speak to the person. The Faculty encourages all of these actions.
  • Use Faculty mail lists thoughtfully. Using the right mail list will ensure that your email is seen by the right people and no more than are necessary. No one likes spam emails.
  • Do add all events to the weekly events email (send to events@law.ox.ac.uk), and all Faculty notices to the weekly staff newsletter (communications@law.ox.ac.uk).
  • Use appropriate subject lines and think about to whom you are sending your email. Does everyone need to be copied in? If so, can you make it clear who needs to respond to the message?  Use acronyms like: FYI (for your information), FYA (for your attention), EOM (end of message).
  • Official University notices such as University closure dates and salary grades will be added to the weekly Law Faculty staff newsletter.

See also our internal e-mail guidlines (SSO required).

A note about personal data stored in e-mails:

  • Colleagues should be aware that, should a Subject Access Request be made, they will be required to submit their e-mails to scrutiny by the University, where references to real people are made and which identify them personally.  See the University Compliance website for further details. 

All new staff are asked to complete the on-line Information Security training, and all staff should do the refresher training once a year. 

* Normal working hours adjusted to 8am-6pm Monday to Friday, to support (and contain) flexible/remote working during the pandemic.