G Suite

Gmail delegation: do’s and dont’s

By 7th June 2019 February 5th, 2020 No Comments


Delegation in Gmail was launched as a regular tool and still, companies can’t fully understand how to implement it properly. It was initially a Google apps feature not a regular Gmail tool. It has been around for nine years and it’s basically about giving somebody else access to your inbox. Learn what you can/can’t do with Gmail delegation. This article will show you how to optimize this Gmail feature making the most of it in no time.

If you’re running a business, you can’t handle everything that’s why delegation in Gmail is so important. At some point, you’ll need to delegate things to maintain steady work quality. When used correctly, Gmail Delegation is a fantastic tool for directors who need to delegate tasks and other processes to their assistants, including inbox and calendar management.

Why are people doing it wrong

In reality, it’s not that companies don’t know how to use Gmail Delegation properly, the problem is that they don’t know how to overcome some limitations that can lower the company’s output quality. Since those restrictions cannot be corrected people get frustrated, and they just stop using it.

Despite this, Gmail Delegation is a valuable and secure solution, and it’s better than keep forwarding emails non-stop. It also prevents you from having to give your corporate email password to another person (a big no-no). Gmail Delegation will let your assistant or anyone of your absolute trust, to have access to your inbox.

Dos & don’ts

Here are some of the actions that this delegated person can and can’t perform while on your inbox and calendar.

Delegation Dos:

  • Manage all of your contacts: People you delegate through Gmail Delegation, can manage your email contacts which means that they’ll have the clearance to add, delete or edit your email contacts.
  • Answer emails on your behalf: They will be able to answer emails as if it was you. Recipients, however,  will have a way of telling if it was you or your assistant who replied. We’ll cover that issue later on.
  • View your inbox: Of course, if you want to have someone working on your emails as if it was you, then they need to have access to your inbox. This means that they will be able to see all of your emails.
  • Deleting emails/Items: People you delegate will have to delete email capabilities, so they can get rid of emails just as if it were you.

Delegation don’ts

  • Chat: Even though they’ll get access to your inbox and will have some privileges, delegates can’t send or receive chat messages under no circumstances.
  • Password Change: Delegates can never access to profile settings options, like password changes.
  • No Changes At All: In addition to not being able to change your passwords, delegates can never change or update any of Gmail settings.

If you wish to learn more about the Gmail Delegation basics, don’t forget to click here.

Additional Gmail delegation restrictions

The delegate restrictions listed above are there for security reasons and represent no further problem. There are, however, other restrictions that are more significant and they have a much larger impact on the company’s productivity (another big no-no).

The problem is that people don’t realize about these issues until they’ve started using Gmail Delegation. Some of these restrictions will have a significant negative impact on the way a sales or customer support team works and can become deal-breakers. Here we have some of these deal-breaker issues. If you already know them, you can skip to the part where we show you how to overcome these issues, by optimizing your Gmail.

Unable to change sender alias

When a team leader uses Gmail Delegation, they’ll soon realize that the recipient of an email can still see who sent the email. It’ll be visible for them that the email is being replied by another person, not by the executive him/herself. This happens because even though the “from” field would still display the original email address, the “sent by” field is going to show another thing.

Yes, it will show that it was this person’s assistant email address the one replying to the email. It will also display a statement saying: Sent on behalf of (the name of the person running the Gmail delegation).

Now, if your clients, providers, prospects or anyone you send work emails to, are aware of this, it may not have a negative impact at all. But can you imagine what happens to a client or an unhappy customer who gets an email response from an assistant that was trying to pose as the person in charge of handling their concerns? It can be embarrassing for everyone, not to mention that it hurts the company’s reputation.

Unable to choose which emails to share

As you know, Gmail Delegation allows users to share an entire inbox, which they thought might be useful and convenient. It is…but up to some extent. Think about it; it’s very convenient to have your assistant receiving all of your emails, right? Wrong…or at least not at all times.

For some managers, there may be an inconvenience in sharing the whole Gmail inbox with their assistants or secretaries. If you revise Gmail Delegation settings, you will not find an option to overcome this issue. You can’t select which emails are up for sharing and which are not. Think about the director of a company’s department that handles several projects at the time. Now imagine there’s a rather sensitive matter on a particular topic, that you do not wish to share with your assistant. Gmail delegation is not the option here, that’s of course if you haven’t optimized your Gmail Delegation yet.

Only able to share emails within the same domain

Sadly, you won’t realize that Gmail Delegation can’t delegate/share emails cross-domains until you are already using it. This means that Google won’t let you delegate emails to emails addresses that are external or outside the company’s domain.

Let’s put it this way if your corporate email address is @mycompany.com and your assistant has the regular @gmail.com, then the delegation will not be possible. You can opt to buy G Suit credentials for your assistant, and it’ll be fine, but it’s simply not a convenient option, right? It shouldn’t be that troublesome to have an assistant working your emails.

How can you overcome these issues without losing Gmail delegation?

One of Drag’s most significant specialties is Email Delegation. You can have your usual Gmail interface appearing like Trello-like (kanban) boards, and you can easily share these with your assistant or team members. The best part is that you can do without the hassles of all the restrictions we just mentioned above.

Feel free to choose which emails you wish to share with your assistant; you no longer have to share the entire inbox. Create a custom Shared Board with your assistant making sure you populate that board only with the emails you wish to share.

Now you can delegate your assistant to answer emails as if it was you, and nobody would know the difference. It’s up to you – or your assistant – to decide which email address to appear as the one sending the email.

The Wrap-up

Gmail’s email delegation tool is handy, but it can also lead to inconvenient and potentially harmful stepbacks. Due to its restrictions, it may cause delays or make things unsafe. With Drag, you turn your email delegation needs into safe processes that will surely enhance the email delegation workflow.

What now?

This is our attempt at sharing everything. It’s as simple as that You don’t have to be a customer to follow us.


Samantha Anacleto

Author Samantha Anacleto

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