Ever since the pandemic happened, a lot of working-class folks have been displaced and started to turn to online jobs to provide for their families’ needs. This is all thanks to awesome companies that allow their employees to work remotely and online businesses, people have somewhat regained their footing financially. Tech-related companies, such as Xact IT Solutions, are the ones that are employing skilled workers and adding them to the online workforce. Because of the extraordinary circumstances, job security is a top priority among workers.
Because everything is taking place online right now, you need to learn how to be professional in your correspondence with your colleagues and superiors, especially when it comes to email messages. We have compiled a list of best practices for email messaging to help those who are just getting used to working online and to remind those who have been at it for quite some time.
15 Professional Email Best Practices for the Uninitiated
1. Your emails should have a clear subject line
Never leave the subject field empty. And don’t use “Urgent!” as a subject line for urgent messages. You need to be clear and direct with your subject line so the recipient already knows what your message is about just by glancing at it.
2 Always use a professional email address
If you’re working for a company, you should be provided a company email address to use for business. If you’re new to the group, it would be best to create a more professional email account that bears your name, like email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org. Just saying.
3. Think first before replying to all
Whenever emails are sent at work, it is automatically considered important. Avoid hitting the Reply to All button if it is irrelevant to them. Going through email messages and threads that have nothing to do with you can be quite a chore and a distraction.
4. Make sure you have a signature block
Always end your email with a personalized signature block that contains your contact details (mobile phone number and email address at the very least) and other relevant work-related information.
5. Be professional with your salutations
Avoid using colloquial and casual expressions like, “What’s up?” and “Hey!” Better be safe and go with a “Hi” or “Hello” and the name of the person you’re sending the message to.
6. Avoid exclamations as much as you can
Exclamations are used to express excitement and should be used sparingly. Doing so frequently and multiple times in one message can come across as immature and emotional.
7. Use humor sparingly and thoughtfully
Humor is needed in the workplace to help people get by long hours and days. However, avoid using humor in your correspondences as they might get lost in translation, especially if it’s an inside joke. You don’t want to alienate a colleague or offend someone who doesn’t agree with your type of humor.
8. Be mindful of different cultures when composing your message
In today’s world where people from different parts of the globe are collaborating and working together, you need to be more sensitive to cultural differences when communicating via email and messaging.
9. Reply to your emails, even those not intended for you
Replying to emails means you are acknowledging that you got the message. However, even if the email was accidentally sent your way, it is still professional courtesy to respond to ask the sender if it was indeed meant for you or someone else. This way, the sender knows if he or she made a mistake and can rectify the situation instead of waiting for a reply that will never come.
10. Proofread at least twice before hitting Send
No more lazy messages. When it comes to workplace emails, you need to ensure that you proofread your work so that it is as streamlined and as clear as possible. You can use grammar and spelling check apps to help you spot errors in your writing.
11. Make sure you have the right recipient
One thing to remember to avoid errant messages is to type in the recipient’s email address after you’re done with your whole message. And make sure you have the right recipient in the field.
13. Don’t go fancy with your fonts
Keep your fonts simple and professional. Avoid using fancy fonts and stick to basics like Arial, Verdana, Times New Roman, and Calibri, among others. Don’t use Comic Sans or Calligraphy or any script and stick to one font size (recommended sizes are between 10 to 12) and don’t get too colorful as it can be an eyesore, not to mention very unprofessional.
14. Be mindful of your message’s tone
The written form of communication is devoid of feelings and body language so you need to be mindful of how you write your thoughts. What you say can be easily misinterpreted and get lost in translation. Keep it neutral at all times.
15. Avoid sending or checking email outside office hours
Just because things are tough now and employment is a little harder to come by does not mean that you should make yourself readily available to it 24/7. You need to place certain boundaries when it comes to work-life balance. Once you’re done clocking in your day’s work, don’t sign back in until the next working day.
Email messaging is a very powerful and handy tool to have, especially at this time. You need to learn how to fully and responsibly utilize it. We hope that you found this article helpful.