Email Communication in the Workplace

In the workplace, effective email communication is a necessity of everyday life. First, remember that business email is not the same as personal email. The style of work-related email should be more formal, making sure that spelling and grammar are correct, and always using a greeting at the beginning and a sign-off at the end. The only exception to the greeting rule is when a series of emails are going back and forth on a specific topic.

Make the purpose of your email message clear

Always use your Subject line, and make your subject descriptive without getting too wordy. For example: Subject: Follow up on phone call with Mr. Smith 12/20/08. If your email needs an urgent response, most email programs have a setting that places a red exclamation point next to your email as the person sees it.

Don’t make others wait for your response

Respond to emails quickly in the business environment. This does not mean that you have to check your emails every 5 minutes or interrupt other tasks to answer emails. A better idea is to take a few minutes twice a day to check emails and answer them. Even if you cannot finish up a task or a request that has been emailed to you, let the sender know you have received the message and will be able to respond within (fill in the time frame).

The exception to this rule is when you are working on an important project and you are expecting a critical email message to arrive. In situations like that, be more on top of your emails because fast and effective email communication can be key.

Keep it professional and Keep it brief

Stay away from jokes, pictures, chain emails, or any similar casual type of message that you might share with your friends and family. The workplace is not the correct setting for these types of emails. If you do get these messages at your work address, either delete them and ignore them or forward them to your personal email address if you want to send them on to others.

Email should be used for quick and clear communication. If you have an issue or a problem, pick the phone and speak to the person involved directly. If you are aggravated or annoyed, do not use email to vent or try to resolve problems. Feelings do not come across well in email. Information does. Remember that and effective email communication will become a valuable tool in your workplace.

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