I am recently new at my job and have yet to be set up for remote access to the company intranet at home. The project communication is not urgent but the project is due near the end of next week. If I were to use my personal email account to communicate with my colleague whom I am working in tandem with, how would this most likely be perceived as?

I live in the United States. Given the distinction of work vs personal life balance, how can I communicate the information and minimize disruption to my colleague's personal life balance? Thank you!

  • 5
    Depends on your company's policies. It could fall anywhere on a spectrum from "you did a great proactive thing to get the job done despite obstacles! good job!" to "you put proprietary company information on an unapproved system. you're fired".
    – nobody
    Feb 28, 2015 at 0:33
  • 1
    It's just not perception but consider other consequences once you start using your personal email (or personal phone number for that matter) you set a potentially bad precedent. E.g. people will contact you there for work related things or they will do so during non work hours, while you're on vacation or taking leave etc, and it's best to avoid that in general. For everyone involved.
    – Brandin
    Feb 28, 2015 at 10:48
  • 3
    @Anthony - Ask your manager. That is the only person you should listen to.
    – Donald
    Mar 1, 2015 at 6:32
  • 2
    Is your real first name Hillary?
    – blankip
    Apr 7, 2015 at 20:33

2 Answers 2


You should definitely not transmit any company propietary information through your personal e-mail, without express written permission. Even then, it should really be avoided.

Ask for guidance from your manager. Offer your suggestion for using personal e-mail, and if approved, go ahead. Your desire to get the work done on time is commendable, but you could find yourself in hot water even if you inadvertently violate company policy.

  • Just noticed the date this question was posted. If you still don't have e-mail setup by now, you have bigger problems...
    – mjulmer
    Apr 7, 2015 at 20:15
  • 2
    In addition, you should strongly consider creating a separate email account for only this purpose, so that, should the need arise, you can turn that mailbox over to corporate IT later. Apr 7, 2015 at 20:20

I would create a new 'work personal' address and correspond from that.

Colleagues may not wish to use their personal email addresses, but there's nothing stopping you from creating a professional work email address not hosted on company servers, though that is probably preferable if that is a choice.

  • 3
    This still will result in work product being on a server outside of the companies control. He should only do what the company wants.
    – Donald
    Mar 1, 2015 at 6:33
  • @Ramhound Question states "use my personal email account to communicate with my colleague " and makes no mention of sending company owned property. Mar 1, 2015 at 9:34
  • 1
    @VhonNewmahn In many cases, any relevant job information, that could be included in the text of an email, is considered proprietary company property.
    – David K
    Apr 3, 2015 at 12:25
  • Revisiting my answer, two years on, and I now agree with the comments that the company would most likely prefer communication be controlled and hosted internally. However, the question implies the arrangement would be one of convenience, presumably for a short-term, and I believe using initiative to resolve productivity blockers would be seen positively; given the internal delay could be used as an excuse to be unproductive. The use of tools like Slack, Skype, and IM clients is also not uncommon and companies rarely control the data shared with them. Jul 2, 2017 at 0:13

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