E-mail E-tiquette

Article

How much time do you spend e-mailing each day? Do you feel compelled to check your e-mail when the instant notification beeps?

Although e-mailing is an essential part of business in today’s day and age, there is a way to be more time conscious. Rather than answering e-ails all day long, set aside periods of time two or three times per day to respond to items in your inbox. Checking e-mails all day long can be distracting and can waste precious work time.

Set up folders to organize and track e-mails. There is no greater waste of time than scanning 300 e-ails to find the one you need. Keep in mind that e-mails are not always delivered. Therefore, determine what you consider to be a reasonable amount of time to receive a reply and if you don’t get one, follow up with the person you are trying to contact.

Watch what you say in an e-mail. Just because you delete the e-mail does not mean that it is gone forever. In many cases, it can be retrieved. For that reason, I suggest you don’t allow it to replace difficult conversations or reprimands. When you do e-mail, use complete and polite sentences.

Use humor cautiously, as it doesn’t always translate in an e-mail. Sarcasm, in particular, works well verbally but not so well in an e-mail. The person receiving the email may not realize you are trying to be funny.

Finally, the subject portion should be completed with a detailed description of the topic and you should develop a signature.

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