Covering the boss - tidy up their email?

 I am covering my boss for a week who's email box sees a constant flow of email therefore it contains 300 to 400 with over 100 unread. I have full control of the mail box for a week - would you look to clean it up (file what is needed for review etc) so you boss has a fresh inbox to return too?

Probably not

Unless you are sure that this is something that your boss wants to get done but can't round to it I would leave well alone. They may be one of those people who use their inbox to keep tabs on things, not effective as I have come to realise but if that's the way they do it then they probably won't appreciate you "messing up" their sytem. Another thing to consider is that they may perceive this attempt to help as a veiled criticism of their way of doing things. I'm sure that there are many better ways to impress your boss while covering.

Gazman                                                                                                                                        London                                                                                                                         DISC®: 1177
 

Never

Do not mess with someone else's e-mail unless specifically requested to.  When I have to cover the boss' e-mail, I forward items as required & deal with ones that are urgent.  I "mark as unread" anything that I deem not urgent.  That way she can choose to read, file or delete.  I would be beyond angry to come back and find my e-mail "cleaned up".  It doesn't matter if it is inefficient or doesn't make sense to you.  Would you clean up my desk or my purse?  To me, this is the same thing.