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Work Rights Centre is a charity that helps migrants and disadvantaged Britons access employment justice and improve their social mobility.

Use this Guide if you are managing a shared inbox using Gmail and getting a lot of emails. It will help you reduce missed emails and duplicated effort, flag complex queries and save time discussing who should deal with what.

Steps to managing a shared Gmail inbox using Gmelius

Dealing with a lot of incoming emails to a shared inbox can be challenging. Map out your process for handling emails and make a note of any problems. You might find that:

  • important emails are sometimes missed

  • more than one team member may pick up the same request

  • it’s hard to focus because of constant notifications

  • interruptions and ‘context switching’ take up time

  • you spend time discussing who should deal with what

  • complex queries aren’t flagged straight away.

When you understand exactly where the ‘pain points’ are in your process you can look for a digital tool to help manage them.

Work Rights Centre is a charity that helps migrants and disadvantaged Britons access employment justice and improve their social mobility.

When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, the charity got a huge number of emails about immigration support, visas, the Ukraine sponsorship scheme, and other important issues.

The Work Rights Centre has a small team and their services are in high demand. They had a process for handling emails which worked well, but the huge volume of queries put the team under a lot of pressure. It was difficult to respond to everything quickly. Team members were distracted by a flood of email notifications in their inbox.

There are various tools that can help teams better manage shared inboxes:

  • setting up email automation rules and actions in your email programme

  • helpdesk software like Freshdesk

  • collaborative email tools like Gmelius and HelpScout

  • the shared mailbox feature in Outlook.

Think about how these different approaches would fit with your current email processes. Research each one. Consider ongoing costs and how many user licences you will need.

For the Work Rights Centre, Gmelius was the best option for several reasons. It:

  • fitted into their existing Gmail workflow. 
  • as available as a Gmail plugin, so the team didn’t need to log in to a different programme to respond to emails.
  • allowed them to access their shared emails in a separate inbox, so they could focus more easily between individual and shared inboxes.
  • allowed team members to chat via text within the inbox. This meant they could discuss complex queries quickly. They could also assign emails for specific people to respond to.

Gmelius also offered a 30% nonprofit discount, which helped WRC make the most of their limited resources.

If you decide to use Gmelius like the Work Rights Centre, there are simple steps to get started:

  1. Install the Gmelius extension for your web browser

  2. Connect your Gmail account(s)

  3. Choose the settings you want, like what notifications you would like to get and where incoming emails will appear

  4. Set up any email templates you would like to use, such as standard responses

  5. Create rules for how incoming emails will be handled, if you like.

It’s a good idea to test the plugin with a small group of people first. Check how it works on different devices.

When you have configured it the way you want, you can set it up for every staff member who accesses the shared inbox.

The Work Rights Centre first installed the Gmelius plugin on 3 accounts so they could test it with a small group. They also tried it on a smartphone to see if it was easy to use, and checked that it synced with their email on their desktops.

They were happy with how it worked, and adjusted the frequency of notifications to suit their workflow.

Get your team on board with the new process by showing them how to use Gmelius’ features.

Map out your new process step-by-step in a document. Make this document accessible to current team members and new ones so they can easily refer to it.

Encourage your team to use Gmelius all the time. For example using @mentions inside the app to assign emails to people or to discuss how to respond to a query.

When you have been using the new tool for a while, ask your team for feedback. See how it is working and if there is anything you could do to improve how you use it.

Screenshot of Gmelius in action in Gmail

Gmelius has helped the Work Rights Centre to manage their shared email inbox more effectively. This has reduced the pressure on the team and helped them support more of the people who contact them.

After using the new process for a while, the charity reviewed how it was working. They decided to create a new 'triage' role to oversee the shared inbox. This person uses Gmelius to assign emails to team members. They triage the incoming queries by urgency and complexity.

Further information

We don't have a contact at Work Rights Centre to share. 

Want to see an alternative way of managing a shared inbox? Read Carefree's Guide to managing all incoming communications using inbox and VoIP software.