The Basics of Workplace Email Etiquette

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In today’s workplace, we have to deal with a high volume of email on a daily basis.  In fact, the average worker receives almost 130 emails a day.  In order to be able to handle these incoming messages to your increasingly full inbox; here are some basic guidelines to help you sort through and respond to those many emails:

 

Proofread every message

Nothing can be more embarrassing as having a very obvious spelling mistake in your email.  Always make sure to proofread and double check your emails before sending.  According to an article in Business Insider, one worker noticed one of their bosses spelling errors:   “One supervisor intended to write ‘Sorry for the inconvenience.’ But he relied on his spell-check and ended up writing ‘Sorry for the incontinence.'”

 

Be direct; include a clear subject line

Many people need to scan through their emails quickly, and having a clear and direct title in your subject line will help one understand the purpose of your email.  Subject lines like, “Meeting Time Changed” or “Question regarding your meeting”, are very effective.  People often decide to open emails based on the subject line.

 

Add the email address LAST

This is a good tip that I had not considered previously.  In order to prevent mistakes and to prevent sending the email before it’s ready, include the email of the recipient ONLY when you are ready to finalize and send the email.

 

Avoid colored or eccentric fonts

Using an eccentric or a colored font may be fun, however it may look unprofessional to those you are emailing.  It is best to stick to a traditional font such as Arial or Calibri in black so it is easy to read and decipher.

 

Do not use slang or abbreviations

Using a short cut, such as a “u” instead of spelling out “you” or “2” instead of “too” can be a nice and easy way to abbreviate your words, but it’s best to keep this between your family and friends than your co-workers.  Using short cuts such as this can seem unprofessional and even rude to those receiving your email.

 

Limit your exclamation points

Try to limit yourself to ONE exclamation point to express excitement!  If you use too many exclamation points, you may appear immature or a bit too passionate!  As you can see by my example above, it may come across as odd or overzealous.

 

Double check your recipient

Always make sure to check the recipient of your email.  Often times your email program may auto fill an address, and it may not always be the correct one.  If an email does not go to the correct person, it can be an embarrassing situation for yourself, and to the person who receives the email.  Especially if the email is a private matter.

Make sure to follow these basic tips to ensure your emails are always composed in a professional manner, and embarrassing situations are avoided.

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