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Email Etiquette in the workplace

Email etiquette refers to the code of conduct of the organization that guides behavior when responding to emails and demonstrates…

By Shobha Singh , in Blog Soft Skills , at April 29, 2021

Email etiquette refers to the code of conduct of the organization that guides behavior when responding to emails and demonstrates a mutual expression of respect between email correspondence.

Email etiquette helps to streamline communication and and the information you’re sending clear and concise. Companies need to implement best practices for email etiquette for professionalism, efficiency, and protection from liability (mistakes that lead to costly misunderstandings).

There are some best practices for email etiquette within the workplace:

  • Include a clear subject line: Title your email in such a way that the recipient should know what the message is about before reading the email. For example, if you’re emailing a few changes to your time for a scheduled meeting, you would possibly make the topic “Meeting time changed to 2 pm”.
  • Use a professional email address: Use your company email address. However, if you’re self-employed or employing a private email address for work-related correspondence, acknowledged a professional email address that’s appropriate for the workplace. A custom email increases the extent of trust people have in emails that come from your email address and causes you to look more professional. 
  • Use professional greetings: Choose a salutation that’s appropriate for the connection you’ve got with the recipient. If you are sending an email to a co-worker, a casual greeting such as “Hello” may be appropriate. If you’re connecting with someone for first time or if they’re a senior associate, use a more formal greeting like “Dear” It’s recommended to use the person’s name exactly as it’s shown to unless you recognize they are going by a nickname. 
  • Use an introduction: Depending on whom you’re emailing, it’s best practice to introduce yourself by first and surname also because of the company you’re representing within the first few lines. This is especially important when emailing new contacts, clients, potential customers, or employers.
  • Know the culture: If you’re emailing someone in another country, it’s best practice to research customs in their country. Miscommunication can easily happen due to cultural differences, especially in writing once you don’t see the opposite person’s visual communication to accompany the message. 
  • Be cautious with “Reply All”: The advantage of using “Reply all” is that you simply can answer everyone directly to allow them to know a problem has been addressed. However, when unsure, use “Reply” to avoid inundating an inventory of individuals with unnecessary emails. 
  • Use sentence case: Use sentence case when you’re sending a knowledgeable email. That means capitalizing the primary word of each sentence also as proper nouns. Avoid using all caps on any of the words. 
  • Double-check attachments: If you’ll copy and paste information into an email instead of attaching a document, do that. If not, let the recipient know within the body of your email that you simply have attached a document. It’s also good etiquette to compress the attachment so it takes up less space in the inbox. 
  • Proofread: Correct spelling and grammar are important when sending business correspondence. After you complete writing an email, read it aloud to be sure that there are no errors. Reading email aloud will increase the probability of catching any mistakes that our eyes may have skimmed over had you read it silently. 
  • Don’t use emojis: Emojis can reflect poorly on your professionalism and although they’ll seem cute, they will easily be misinterpreted in a business setting. 
  • Be positive: Be intentional about maintaining a positive tone in business emails because they lack the advantage of facial expressions and true voices. Be aware of each word you employ and the way it’s going to encounter. 
  • Respond in a timely manner: When someone emails you, reply within 24 hours, perhaps up to 48 hours, is a common courtesy. If you’ve got accidentally passed this timeframe, express your apologies and respectfully explain the delay. 
  • Keep your tone professional: Think carefully about your word choice in an email and the way somebody else could read them. Avoid negativity, sarcasm, and adjectives that will cause you to sound overly emotional. 
  • Check the recipient’s name: Always check the recipient’s name one last time before you send the e-mail. Pull up their LinkedIn profile or check how they’ve signed off on emails to you and spell the name a corresponding way.
  • Shorten URLs: Pasting a lengthy URL into your email can look messy and take up respected space. Use a link shortener to shorten the link or hyperlink text within the e-mail. 
  • Leave the right impression with your email sign-off: Less is usually more where email signatures are concerned. Your signature should typically include only your name, job title, company website, and phone number. 
  • Use exclamation points sparingly: People sometimes get over-excited and put a variety of exclamation points at the top of their sentences. The result can appear too emotional or immature, she writes. “Exclamation points should be used sparingly in writing”. 
  • Nothing is confidential — so write accordingly: A basic guideline is to assume that others will see what you write, “she says, “so don’t write anything you would not want everyone to discover.” A more liberal interpretation: Don’t write anything that might be ruinous to you or hurtful to others. After all, email is easy to forward, and it’s healthier to be safe than regretful.

Some do’s and Don’ts for OOO replies:

  • DO Include how long you’ll be unreachable.
  • DON’T Generate an OOO response for one day.
  • DO Include an alternative person to contact for more urgent matters.
  • DON’T Include a colleague to contact without letting that colleague know they’re in your OOO reply.
  • DO Include “OOO in your subject line so people can easily recognize the automated response.
  • DON’T Include more detail than required
The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Etiquette
Do’s Don’ts
Do pay attention to the Subject Line Don’t Include Humor and Sarcasm
Do use a proper Salutation Don’t Use Emojis
Do use an Introduction Don’t Be Negative
To Know the Culture Don’t Forget the Conversation Closer
Do Double-Check Your Attachments Don’t! Overuse exclamation points.
Do Reply Expediently Don’t forget your signature.
Do Protect Privacy Don’t assume the recipient knows what you are talking about?
Do Proofread Don’t shoot from the lip.
Do reply to all emails.
Do keep private material confidential.


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