Does it make you look unprofessional if you don't use Microsoft Outlook for professional/office related emails. At my workplace almost everyone uses Outlook. It is not mandatory but it is considered to be professional by many of them to use it. However, I simply use a browser for accessing my office emails. My reason for using browser and not Outlook is first of all it is pain in itself to successfully configure Outlook, at least I have never seen anyone configuring it in one attempt. Secondly every week someone's Outlook goes bad and they have to repair it and it wastes lots of time. Third you have to open a separate window on your taskbar for doing something which can also be done otherwise and probably better.

Personally I haven't have faced any issue using browser. So I don't think its unprofessional to not use Outlook for official emails. Should I stick with using browser or switch to Outlook.

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    Have people complained about you not using Outlook? Are you lacking any functionality that makes it more difficult to get work done (scheduling tools, global address list, etc)? – David K Jul 14 '17 at 12:09
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    Are you using a third-party application or something like Outlook Web Access (or whatever it's called these days)? Is this method officially supported by your company's IT department? – Thomas Owens Jul 14 '17 at 12:10
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    Have you asked anyone why is everyone using Outlook? – rath Jul 14 '17 at 12:10
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    I admit to being baffled here. If your office is using an Exchange server there is no configuration involved in setting up Outlook. It will autodetect your account. At worst you'd have to enter your email address. Tech issues aside it's also strange that you consider an extra browser tab to be a huge improvement over an extra taskbar entry but to each their own. Finally, there is no one answer here as each company has their own policy and culture on this, hence the final close vote. – Lilienthal Jul 14 '17 at 12:50
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    Quite frankly - I find all three of your "reasons" to be bogus: configuring Outlook is a bloody doddle compared to Thunderbird (and that's easy enough); if someone's Outlook is going bad every week, then there are some other issues going on that's not caused by Outlook - we haven't had any "bad" Outlook's in several years; you have to use a separate tab in a browser if your use the web-based solution (finding that in the 50 other tabs you probably have open would be harder than one of the maybe half-dozen applications on your task bar). – HorusKol Jul 14 '17 at 15:53
  • Do the emails you send and receive look the same as they would in Outlook?

    If no, that could perhaps seem unprofessional or you could have difficulty reading certain emails, depending on what the differences are.

  • Is the method you're using officially allowed (for use at home or wherever)?

    If you're using a third-party application, that's something that absolutely needs to be approved by the company, because there are trust and security issues there and getting fired over this can be the least of your worries.

  • Does the web interface have all the necessary functionality that Outlook provides?

    If the web interface lacks some functionality, this could significant affect your productivity in using the tool (which is not such a big deal as long as you get your work done), but it could also result in you missing meetings or potentially being affected in more serious ways.

If the answers all of the above questions are "yes", this ultimately just comes down to what happens on your screen, which no-one (other than you) should really care about, so I can't imagine this being a problem.

It might also be possible that the web interface can go down temporarily and you'd be forced to use Outlook during that period, where not having it set up can be problematic (even if using it most of the time is fine).

Just for reference: Depending on the version, you should be able to minimise Outlook to the notification bar to hide it from the taskbar. I've used Outlook for years and have never had, or even known about anyone having had, any significant problems to the point of needing repairs.

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  • This. I've been using web access (instead of the Outlook App) since I started my current role and never had a problem with it at all. Just stick to the questions that @Dukeling is suggesting. – carrdelling Jul 14 '17 at 12:42

I don't think the method in which you access your email can be considered unprofessional.

If your company isn't forcing you to use it, use whatever you are comfortable with. I once worked with a guy (super old school like learned to code on punch cards) who wrote all of his technical documentation in notepad (or sometimes mainframe datasets) because he simply did not know how to use word and had no intention of learning it. He also wrote all of his flowcharts by hand and photocopied them for meetings.

I don't think this made him unprofessional. He was very proficient with the tools he was comfortable with and that's really all that matters.

It would be different if the company said Thou shalt use outlook and you were just being a pain, but in this case, I don't see anyway that this could be unprofessional.

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