Email Etiquette: Improve Your Work Relationships

In workplaces throughout the world, hundreds of emails are sent each day. And if you work in an office, chances are you use the technology to correspond with colleagues, customers and other professional contacts. But how much thought do you put into writing your emails?

Email is quick and convenient and we give it much less thought than we would have put into writing a letter in years gone by. And unlike face-to-face conversations, it’s often hard to convey emotion via an email. As a result, the words you choose and the style of your email can have a big impact on your intended message. People you have never met can form an opinion of you based purely on your emails while even those who know you very well can misunderstand your meaning if your emails aren’t clear.

So, if you want to boost your professional relationships, it’s worth remembering these email etiquette rules when sending workplace emails:

Remember your manners

Email gives you the opportunity to be a little bit friendlier than you would be in more formal correspondence such as a letter. But it’s wise to still be polite – always use a suitable greeting, and remember to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.

Spelling and grammar

You might think that the rules of spelling and grammar don’t apply to emails. And while people are less likely to scrutinise your words than they might in a printed material, it’s still important to adhere to the basic rules of spelling and grammar in workplace emails. Don’t use the abbreviations that you might see in a text and always give your email a quick check before sending to spot any errors.

Respond in a timely manner

It’s important to reply as soon as possible. If someone has asked you a question and you don’t know the answer straightaway, you could at least send an email to acknowledge the question and let the sender know that you are looking into it.

Use the CC and BCC functions wisely

Sometimes it’s useful to copy (cc) another person into an email so that they are aware of the conversation you’re having with another person. But use this function wisely in the workplace. If you are emailing a colleague to complain about something, you might be tempted to copy in their boss. But this can create bad feelings between colleagues. It’s often better to try and resolve issues directly without copying in others.

Using the blind copy (bcc) function can be even more infuriating if a colleague discovers that you’ve been copying others without their knowledge. But if you are genuinely worried about workplace issues and feel that copying in others will help protect you in difficult times, then use your judgement and go ahead and employ these features when they will help you.

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