Although texting and social media are very popular, emails still remain the most common form of communication at the workplace and unfortunately this form of communication comes across as the most commonly abused.
Here are some do’s and don’ts for different kinds of office emails:
It’s fun if its about you and annoying if others do it. If someone calls out your good work, thank them heartily and call out people who helped you and how they helped you. If you update internal documentation, share the link and the updates you made with your team. If you read an article relevant to your market, send it to your admin/the team starting from your skip level manager. Try to be as informative in a non-distracting way
Sometimes you end up in toxic teams or catch people in a bad mood. If they are intentionally making you look bad, I personally do not take it lying down. Reply all explaining exactly why you took the decision you took with the information you had. Explain why you did not communicate earlier. If someone complains about missing information, point them to it. If you are not on the hook for some work not done, call out the person on it. Conclude with telling the sender to feel free to come by your office and ask questions in the future.
Some useful phrases
- Did we discuss this?
- Could you point me to the work item where I had to do this?
- Has the process changed recently?
- “So-and-so” handles that now.
- Sorry about the confusion but..
Talk about the projects and people you worked with and little anecdotes that make our workplace unique. If you want to keep in touch, give everyone your Facebook and LinkedIn addresses. Wish them well with their upcoming releases. Thank everyone for what they taught you and the memories you have made and how they prepared you for your next opportunity.
Avoid cliches and ‘filler’ words
“Please do the needful”. “Kindly look at this task at your earliest”. C’mon guys. You asked them once already and you don’t set their priorities. Keep communication lean so everyone can move on with real work. Pretentious language and jargon is so passé.
Author: Nazneen Malik
Nazneen is a software engineer based in the Greater Seattle area since 2010. She is originally from Mumbai. She did her B.E. in Computer Engineering and then worked as a Software Developer in Mumbai for 2 years. After that she moved to Utah to do her Masters in Computer Science in 2008. She is passionate about her career and serving the community. For fun she likes to read, hike, salsa dance and travel!