Category: Career Advice
Created on Monday, 31 January 2011 02:21
Written by Winnie Tan
As mundane as it may seem, email is our primary form of communication at work and one task that takes up a significant portion of our time in the office. And given the vast amount of emails we handle each day, it is no surprise we may commit some mistakes or go against email etiquette. But one misstep and it may cause us a promotion, a payrise or even our job. So here are six common work email mistakes as well as how to prevent them. 1. Premature Sending
The "Enter" button may be the return button for some email systems, but for others it may also mean "Send". You can't count on the "Recall" button and yet this could potentially be a grave mistake if your half-written message contains confidential information or that revealed would be disadvantageous to your company. Tip: Finish typing your email and checking for errors before entering the recipient's email address.
2. Attached. Really?
Often have to send an embarrassing follow-up email to say you forgot to attach the document? Or worse, sending the wrong attachment? Don't leave a forgetful, unprofessional impression on your clients or superiors with this mistake. Tip: First upload the file attachment even before writing the email.
3. Repeated Replies
Face it: The world will still carry on without you. Replying an email according to chronological order will only cause a disruption to the email thread and potentially causes confusion to the recipients. Tip: Follow through the entire email thread before replying.
4. Treating Emails like SMS
Bad grammar, incomplete sentences and short forms may be more efficient in communicating certain information and feelings. But the office is definitely not the place to do that. Tip: Be professional. Write everything like a proper letter.
5. Cutting the Small Talk
Meanings may be easily misinterpreted via emails, and getting right to the point might seem like a command rather than a request. In fact, emailing someone can be likened to meeting him or her in person, and the cursory greeting should not be neglected. Tip: Perform the usual honorifics like "Hi" and "Dear So-and-so". Remember your P's and Q's. Make sure you did not spell the recipient's name wrong. Last but not the least, be polite but brief with your greetings.
6. Email Stalking
Don't expect the recipients to check their emails every 10 minutes, and remind them to reply you just as often. Tip: If the content of your email is that urgent, call or text the recipient instead of emailing.
You might also like: Email Etiquette