I have a choice to use first names instead of first and last name in professional e-mail addresses, for example:

[email protected]


[email protected]

It would like to speed up communication by promoting less formal culture so I would like to go with the first name only: [email protected]

Are there any drawbacks to that other than having two Johns in my company?

  • 2
    People could end up sending emails to "the wrong John". Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 6:14
  • As long as informality is desirable then the duplicate names problem is all you have to consider. As you take on more staff, do you have John1, John2, etc? My organisation is large and we already have john.doe2 !
    – user16259
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 6:16
  • 5
    How does [email protected] slow down communication? People have Contact lists.
    – Taladris
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 6:30
  • @Taladris My concern is when trying to get subordinates to freely communicate with managers of their managers, whom they've never talked to, across hierarchy. Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 6:55
  • 1
    I go by Rob, on the entire Internet and offline (whenever possible), no one has yet said they've mistaken me for someone else. If the address is open grab it.
    – Rob
    Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 7:14

2 Answers 2


There's no reason to not just create both addresses, alias them together, and let people use whichever one they want. I'm sure you'll find cases where you want the extra formality of the full name address, and just as often you'll want the less formal one.

And in the cases where you don't care, just use the less formal one to promote that kind of atmosphere in the country.

  • That's a pretty good idea. It might be a bit hard for a startup where each new e-mail has a considerable marginal cost. But surely there should be a hosting service out there for bundled up multiple e-mail addresses for a single user without additional cost Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 6:53
  • 5
    @ArthurTarasov I pay about $5 a month for unlimited email addresses, and that's just a consumer service. There really should be no extra cost to the number of email addresses your company has.
    – Erik
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 6:54
  • This makes it more confusing for people though. Is john@company the same as johndoe@company? Is it someone else? Is it a social engineering attempt? Also people might want to filter your mails and suddenly something breaks out of the filter. I'd advise against multiple mail addresses for inherently the same set of contacts. Maybe it's an approach if one is for internal and one for external communication although that distinction might also be hard to adhere to. Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 15:03

There are only a couple of reasons why one is preferable to the other and they're about anonymity.

Information is currency, if there is no need for someone to know my last name, I don't give it. Not because I suspect everyone of a hidden agenda, but because it only takes ONE malicious person fishing for info to make a mess.

Pretty much the same with staff, it's not the individual that is important it is the job title, so many companies actually use the job title as email address. It also mitigates against people humanising their problems with your staff and nutcases building a personal grudge with an easily identifiable employee, or a competitor building a relationship and perhaps even making personal contact.

Similar issues along that vein, not something that would happen every day, but in a security conscious world and especially in a small country they need to be considered.

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