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The Do’s and Don’ts of email etiquette at work.

You spend a good part of your day reading, writing and responding to emails.  Due to the volume of emails you are dealing with it’s not uncommon to make mistakes.

Here are HR Gurus Do’s and Don’ts for email etiquette.

Do:

  • Use your subject line. Always title your email!  Make sure the title lets the reader know what the email is about.  For example, if you are sending a budget report title the email Budget Report and the date.
  • Make sure your greeting and sign off are professional. Always have a greeting such as Hello rather than Hey as this sounds more formal.  Sign off using Kind Regards or Regards rather than Cheers or Cya.
  • Use correct grammar. With spell check there is no excuse for spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.  These make you appear incompetent and again look unprofessional.
  • Sign off with your signature. Every email should sign off with who you are, where you are from and how they can contact you.
  • Acknowledge when you receive an email. Let your sender know your received their email and you will get back to them ASAP.

Don’ts:

  • Make sure your email address is professional if you company does not supply one. I have seen some doozies in my time such as “markybadboy” and “jessgoodtimegirl”.  Try and stick to your name and a number or underscore such as Natalie_80@.
  • DON’T USE ALL CAPS! IT MAKES YOU LOOK AS THOUGH YOU ARE YELLING AT YOUR AUDIENCE.
  • Don’t use humour or sarcasm. Emails do not translate emotions well and can end up being misinterpreted by the reader.
  • Don’t use emoji’s, smiley faces or hugs and kisses. These have no place in office emails.  Keep them for emails to your mum.
  • Don’t send bulk mass emails. We all love a video of a cat doing something cute but it’s a bad idea to forward it to the entire office.

Written by resident HR Guru Natalie Bol.

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