All You Need to Know About Work Email Etiquette

Rule#1: Don’t be in a hurry to hit send!

Reach office in the morning, log into your mail box and almost an hour or more is lost in just replying to emails. Sounds like your regular work day too? Whether we like it or not, emails are and will remain the life of professional communication.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term ‘netiquette’ (often synonymously used with email/chatting/web posting etiquette); it basically refers to an appropriate way of using the almighty internet. This concept is even more critical when it comes to your online interactions in the workspace. Yep, you might be super tech-savvy, but knowing the right way of drafting or replying to work emails and texts can go a long way in ensuring proper communication and building healthy professional relationships.

And while we’re on the subject of office mails, here are a few pointers to brush up your formal email scripting skills:

Clear Subject Line

Let’s start from the top. Believe us, mails with clear subject lines hardly ever land in the trash bin. Think of them as the title of a story or article; they need to catch the attention of the reader. Be specific when writing a subject line, to the extent that if needed, the recipient can easily search for the email in his/her mailbox in the future as well. And if the email carries some critical content, don’t think twice before writing ‘important’ in the subject line.

Be Formal With Your Salutations

‘Hey’ or ‘Hi’ can be used when you are sending an email to your friend but for official mails, stick to using ‘Hello’ or ‘Dear’. Another important tip – never shorten the recipient’s name as it may come across as slightly rude; this holds true even if you know the person very well.

Read Twice Before You Click Send

Spelling, grammar and punctuation matter! So you need to vet the email twice before hitting the send button. The content may not read sloppy to you, but it can to the receiver. Always remember, how you write your emails, including minor details like punctuation, says a lot about your personality to the reader.

Retain The Original Idea

If you are forwarding an email, make sure that you erase all the unnecessary content from the body. No one is interested in reading the long chain of messages contained in the mail and more importantly, it could also lead to the leaking out of some confidential information.

Introduce Yourself

Here’s the thing – your recipient is not god, so you cannot assume that he/she will somehow know you, whether or not you introduce yourself. To put it simply, a brief introduction is a must if you’re emailing someone for the first time (note the word ‘brief’). The chance of your mail getting ignored is much less if it carries a self-introductory note. 

Use Signature To Sign off

Your reader may get to this part right at the end, but a proper signature does the important task of leaving a good impression. Always use your official signature for all work emails; otherwise, the recipient may doubt your credibility.

Look Before You Hit ‘Reply All’

All persons CCed in the email may not be interested in your reply. So avoid clicking ‘reply all’ if it isn’t necessary for each person to know about your message.  Alternatively, some scenarios may require everyone marked on the mail to be kept in the loop.  Examples of messages that don’t need you to hit ‘reply all’ – ‘Thank You’, ‘Yes’/’No’ and so on.

Take note of these tips to nail your mail! Happy E-mailing!

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