Did you know that employees spend 23% of their workday checking emails?
With so many emails getting into your inbox every day you need to clean up you can’t avoid mistakes. Try to see if you can relate to these scenarios:
- You hit send too soon and regretted sending an email
- You found out that the text was correct but forgot to add the attachment
These are some of the easy mistakes and do not worry – it happens to the best of us.
The more problematic circumstance involves those whose emails wind up in the public domain. So consider this email etiquette:
Never write something in an email that you do not expect to be posted on the front page of the New York Times. Of course you do not write an email with always this in mind, but the point is that if you approach emails – or any digital communication for that matter – from the perspective that the whole world will read it, it has a sobering effect on what we write and makes us choose our words more carefully.
Don’t send any email if you’re upset or angry. If you just received a message that makes your blood boil or you are in the midst of an internal “war of words” within your organization, then temporarily do not send or reply to email, Take deep breath and write the email and maybe show to a friend or colleague before sending.
The general rule is not to send emails written in the heat of emotion. It’s better to not send any message at all.
There are rules for using cc and bcc when sending email. There a lot of experts teaching in this as well for better email handling. A message should be addressed to the primary recipients – in other words, in the “To” field enter the names of anyone your message is directed to. These are the people who are expected to take action or respond.
The cc field is for information only purposes, like looping in a supervisor or functional manager or just a courtesy to a higher-up. The bcc field doesn’t really serve any purpose other than to annoy people.
You just hit Reply All on an email from the CEO to the entire organization. Oops now you just got some more enemies. You are either the sender who isn’t paying attention and doesn’t really care that several people get your “thanks” reply, or you are the recipient who gets +200 emails a day and it’s just annoying to receive another, and in this case, unnecessary, email. Be careful using Reply All.
Finally, exaggerated use of the “urgent” message or otherwise marking emails as important or requiring an immediate response is just not polite. Everyone thinks their work is important, but if you’re in a bind and need information quickly, pick up the phone and call or better yet, take a walk down the hall. I think that it’s for people with expectations like this that instant messaging and texts were invented.
If you have something personal to say to someone, say it in person. Never write foul language, racy, or suggestive stuff in email. And don’t badmouth coworkers or your boss. Everyone should understand that in most instances email creates a permanent record of what you’ve written.
Thanks for inspiration – Mike Quartararo