20 Examples of Bad Workplace Email Etiquette
E-mails pose as the sort of front lines of
communication between professionals.
Properly written e-mails will stand out and grab attention, while poorly
written e-mails will most likely be tossed in the junk folder, or even cause
some trouble in the office. Follow these
20 rules and avoid trash worthy e-mails.
1. ALWAYS PROOFREAD
While this should be a given, many e-mails are
sent without proofreading and are laden with spelling and grammar errors. These kinds of mistakes scream amateur and
can give off an unprofessional vibe.
2. STAY ON POINT
Edit the text and make sure that the e-mail
stays to the point and flows well. Move
sentences around or delete unnecessary information to make the message as clear
3. EDIT LENGTH
E-mails should only contain enough information
to get a point across. If the message is
simple, keep the e-mail short and sweet.
If there is detailed information, consider adding attachments or links
that offer more details without sending a drawn out e-mail.
4. SEND TO SPECIFIC PEOPLE
Only send the e-mail to individuals who are
required to respond or take action. For
individuals who do not need to take action, but still need record of the
e-mail, CC them in.
5. BE CAREFUL FORWARDING E-MAILS
6. CREATE AUTOMATIC RESPONSES
In a professional setting, it is common courtesy
to create automatic response e-mails for when you are out of town or will be
out of office for extended amounts of time.
The e-mail will inform senders that the e-mail went through, but that
you are out of office and unable to respond.
It will alleviate any confusion and timely concerns and will give the
sender a chance to re-send the e-mail once you are back in office.
7. AVOID SENSITIVE ISSUES
E-mails are a means of communication, but should
not be used to discuss issues that are better discussed in person. Individuals in leadership positions should
avoid sending critiques over e-mail or sending messages that could easily be
interpreted as negative.
8. HAVE GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE
In customer service jobs, negative replies to customers can send a bad message and should be avoided. If the conversation requires explanation or can be interpreted wrong, it is always preferable to speak with the customer over the phone or in person. Words with judgmental tones will almost always be interpreted incorrectly.
9. REACTING TO AN EMAIL
If a received e-mail appears to be negative, be
careful of how you respond. Never
overreact to e-mails and always give the benefit of the doubt. Seek clarity before causing unnecessary
10. KNOW PROFESSIONALISM LEVELS
Adjust the level of professionalism of the e-mail according to the receiver. Sending a casual, light-hearted e-mail might be appropriate to send to a friend or colleague, but would not be suitable for a client or someone in a leadership position.
11. LIMIT CONTENT
Limit e-mails content to one specific
topic. The e-mail should not have
overloaded amounts of information. The
recipient might not have the time to read through unnecessary details and
staying precise will assure a greater impact.
12. CHOOSE SUBJECT LINES WISELY
Since the subject is the first thing recipients
will see when they receive the e-mail, it is crucial to pick a subject that
offers the right details. One thing to
avoid is one-word and vague subject lines.
The subject line should entice the recipient and should clearly indicate
what the e-mail contains.
13. ATTACH THE RIGHT DOCUMENTS
It is easy to attach the wrong documents, which
can lead to confusion, conflict or another unwanted response. Carefully choose which documents are being
attached, make sure all documents are attached, and be sure to double check
what is being attached before sending the e-mail. Always preview the content
14. CREATE A SIGNATURE
Signing off an e-mail with just your name may
not look unprofessional, but it is typically expected for a signature to
include the name, the person’s title and their contact information.
15. AVOID SARCASM
16. NEVER USE EMOTICONS
E-mails are a method of communication and should be taken seriously. While emoticons are fun, they have no place in workplace e-mails.
17. SEND A THANK-YOU
Send thank-you emails as a way of showing
18. DON’T OVER-SEND THANK YOU EMAILS
Do not send thank-you emails as a response to a thank-you email.
19. STOP USING “DEAR”
While opening a letter with “Dear Mr. Jones”
might be acceptable for a formal letter, it is too formal for an e-mail. Greetings can start with “Hi” followed by the
recipient’s name or many simply use just the name itself.
20. INCLUDE TITLES
Though emails have a vibe of being a “workplace text message” the information within he content is often more important than just a casual remark. Therefore, give the email the proper amount of care and attention by following these etiquette tips.