The COVID-19 pandemic forced many operations to work in heightened virtual environments, thus increasing email communication. While email is certainly nothing new to our society, with it serving as a replacement to many in-person meetings, there has been a reported loss of proper etiquette. A refresher on basic digital decorum is a great idea.

 

One of the most common mistakes when sending emails is sloppiness. Not proofreading an email that contains improper grammar or punctuation and spelling mistakes will show that the sender has a careless or lazy attitude towards the email. These errors can change the tone of an email entirely and make it seem like the sender felt rushed. On the other hand, rambling on and on in an email, instead of getting right to the point, wastes the readers time. Another inconsiderate, time-consuming mistake is to hit “reply all” in an email chain when unnecessary.

 

It is also important to remember that your work email is owned by your company and what you send or say about your colleagues is not private. Gossiping, criticizing, or making negative comments about your colleagues is both unprofessional and rude and could be seen by an unintended recipient. 

 

Although an emoji or more casual language can often build relationships and create a deeper connection through email, it is important to ensure that the use of slang, gifs, swear words, or emojis are only used in an appropriate manner. Crossing these boundaries can also include improperly addressing your recipient. The way you address someone in an email carries weight that can misconstrue your message. Starting off an email with a demanding request or without an appropriate greeting is disrespectful and can lead to miscommunication.

 

Putting effort and thought into an email can greatly impact how a recipient receives a message. It is always important to remember email etiquette and make sure that the recipient is being treated respectfully and communicating successfully.