Texting has become the preferred method of correspondence with friends and family, over emails. And why not, texting is quicker. Email, however, still reigns supreme in the corporate world so make sure you reserve those quirky jokes and smiley faces for the people with whom you have personal relationships with, like friends and family. Your work colleagues and especially, your boss might not take kindly to the same writing style you use in your personal texts when you are communicating with them.
Here are a few email tips from Dawn Rosenberg McKay from an article titled 6 Rules for Email Etiquette in the Workplace:
- Mind Your Manners
Even in a world where we are rushing to get things done as quickly as possible in order to move on to the next task, take the time to use good manners in your email. Don’t neglect to say “please” and “thank you.”
- Watch Your Tone
Tone is how you, as a writer, can express your attitude in an email message. It influences how it is received. You usually want to make sure to come across to the recipient as respectful, friendly, and approachable. You don’t want to sound curt or demanding. Reread your message several times before hitting send.
When writing to someone with whom you’ve communicated before, begin by saying something friendly like “I hope you are well.” While emojis may help you convey tone more easily, refrain from using them in professional email unless you are writing to someone with whom you have a very informal relationship. Never use them when writing to a prospective employer.
- Be Concise
Busy people have neither the time nor inclination, to spend more than a minute reading an individual email. If you want to allow your recipient to read your message quickly, and still understand it, you must keep it brief.
Don’t leave out pertinent details, however. Make sure your message clearly conveys your reason for writing it in the first place. Nobody saves time if you end up having a back and forth while you try to explain the details you omitted.
- Avoid Using Texting Abbreviations
Even though you want to save time, you shouldn’t use texting abbreviations in your professional email. If you text a lot, as many people do, you may be accustomed to using a sort of shorthand to speak to your friends. For example, you may use “u,” “ur,” and “plz” instead of “you,” “your,” and “please.” These abbreviations have no place in business correspondence, unless the recipient is someone with whom you have a casual relationship.
- Use a Professional Email Address
For messages related to your current job, always use the email address your employer assigned to you. However, you should never use it to send messages that are unrelated to your job, for example, if you are looking for a new one. Use a personal email account instead.
- Don’t Forget Spelling and Grammar Count
It is imperative that you proofread your email carefully. Never neglect this critical step, no matter how busy you are. The things you want to be attentive to are correct spelling and proper grammar. In addition to spelling common words correctly, you also want to spell people’s names right, including that of your recipient and the name of his or her company.
In the era of the Internet, artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, cool automated business software and access to a dizzying array of mobile apps, the corporate world is conservative, and, how you communicate in that setting has to remain professional, because you never know who may intercept your mail. After all, when your work emails are professional, it’s less likely to put your company at risk.
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