We’ve all become extremely reliant on email for day-to-day communication. This makes it easy to send a ton of emails a day without considering proper email etiquette too closely. Unfortunately, this means that without even knowing it, you might be seriously annoying your office mates – a subtly tense situation easy to diffuse with a few simple steps.
Take our little quiz and see how you stack up on the ‘Annoying’ scale. If you find yourself creating a number of email faux pas, make an early New Years resolution to practice improving your written skills!
Do you send emails with only a subject line?
Although this might seem like a time saver, it can be off-putting to the recipient. It’s best to label the message with a brief and descriptive subject so whoever reads it knows what to expect and can prioritize and organize accordingly. For example: Subect: Meeting about quarterly report. Text: “I see you’re out of the office for a client meeting. I’d like to discuss that final quarter report when you have the chance. Will you please call me when you’re free?”
Also keep in mind: f you can’t be bothered to write a complete email, you most likely don’t need to be sending that email at all. It’s easy to fall into the ‘texting’ trap – sending short one-liners that clog up coworkers’ inboxes the way a text message would. So if you find yourself needing only one sentence and it can fit into the subject line, try walking across the room to chat with that person instead.
Do you leave your reader hanging?
Email has become so casual that it can seem superfluous to include a personal ending to each email you write. But add that last sentence anyway, because it also adds closure to your virtual conversation. It’s especially easy to do this if you create a customized signature- a two minute task in your email settings. Adding “Thanks, (your name)” goes a long way and it’s easy to accomplish. Put in the extra effort and you will appear more polished and more thoughtful in your correspondence.
Do you “Reply All,” Each time?
If your response only concerns one person on the mailing list, it can be frustrating for those not involved to be continuously receiving updates. Instead of hitting ‘reply all’ and cc’ing the whole list of coworkers, just hit ‘reply’ and continue the conversation one on one. Plus, making sure any sort of correction or criticism stays between the two of you will be much appreciated, since a manager or boss is often included in a large email list, and you would be showing your coworker up in front of her superiors by replying to everyone.
So how did you measure up? Got any of your own email pet peeves? Let us know!