10 E-mail Etiquette Tips for the Workplace
- Be concise. Longer messages are difficult to read, and most people will not read them carefully . . . so be sure to bold or underline important action items.
- Avoid sarcasm. It can come across as rude or abrupt because the recipient can't gauge your body language.
- Include a descriptive, concise subject line. Many people are inundated with emails, so give them a clue as to your content so that they can prioritize.
- Don't send an email when emotional or angry. Sit on it for 24 hours.
- Use emoticons . . . sparsely. Sometimes it helps communicate the tone of your message when you add an emoticon. However, only do so as necessary for it can end up being annoying to readers if you have too many.
- Think twice before hitting “reply all.” Ask yourself, "Do all these other people really need to hear my reply?" If not, reply only to the original writer.
- Respond within 24 hours. If you require more time, let the sender know you're reviewing the email and when you'll get back to that person.
- NEVER USE ALL CAPS or all lowercase.
- Start with a greeting (hi, hello, good morning, etc.) and end with a closing (Thanks; I appreciate your time; until then; best wishes, etc.)
- Never try to resolve a conflict via email. Back and forth emailing is almost guaranteed to make the situation worse. Pick up the phone, walk down the hall, or set up a time to talk.