Email Etiquette in the Workplace

 Have you ever considered the impression your e-mails leave on co-workers, managers and employees? No? Well you should. You would be surprised how many professionals neglect the basics to e-mail etiquette in the workplace. We have compiled what we feel to be a few of the most important e-mail etiquette tips. Check them out.

  • Always remember, that e-mails are permanent. So only write and send what you are absolutely comfortable with others (even those who are not the intended audience) reading.
  • Think before you write. Never send an e-mail when you are emotional or after you have been drinking!
  • Use a salutation to open your e-mail and sign your e-mails.
  • NEVER click send until you have read through your e-mail at least once. Look for grammar errors, tone consistency, spelling and proper English. Don’t be ‘that guy/girl.’
  • Only Reply ALL when it is absolutely necessary. Perhaps you will need to change your default e-mail settings to help break this habit. Use your judgement when ‘replying all.’
  • Do not neglect the subject line. Try to avoid ALL CAPS in your e-mail subject lines. It is tacky. You are not that important. Use a special character if you are really trying to get someone’s attention (*, #, ^, etc) and add ‘Urgent’ to the subject line if necessary.
  • Keep your emails short and to the point. No one wants to read a dissertation. Pro tip* cover one subject or topic per e-mail.
  • If you are asking for something in your e-mail from it’s recipient, be clear. Have a strong call to action or follow-up task.
  • Use bullet points or line breaks to separate thoughts. This will also force you to summarize and condense your thoughts or points.
  • Thinking about using an acronym? Go for it, just make sure you define the acronym once in the e-mail for those who may not be familiar with it. 
  • Make it a goal to respond within twenty four hours of receipt. Even if it is only an acknowledgement and to let the sender know you have not ignored them.
  • Sending an attachment? Compress large files or send a download link out of courtesy.
  • If you are forwarding an e-mail, make sure to strip out any sensitive or private information. Ask the e-mail’s original sender if it is OK to forward the e-mail prior to doing so. 
  • Heading out of the office for more than 24 hours? Use your automated out of office response. Be specific, let the recipient know who they can get in touch with in your absence and when they can expect to hear back from you. 
  • Use an e-mail signature. Only share the information you are comfortable with others but typically more is better than less. 
  • If your sender’s e-mail does not require a response, do not replay just to say ‘thank you.’ Save their inbox!

Enjoy this fun graphic for more tips on e-mail etiquette from One Lilly, a full-service LA creative agency.

email etiquette in the workplace