Email communication is a necessary part of modern workplaces. Email is the preferred method of communication for asking co-workers questions or providing status updates and feedback. In fact, we email so often, that CNBC reports that less than half of polled workers report being able to completely clear their inbox.
It’s safe to say that most Americans are inundated with emails – which is why it’s so important that we be able to boost our efficiency when emailing our coworkers and bosses about work-related matters. After all, no one wants to confuse, offend, or annoy their recipient, yet poorly written emails can sometimes do just that. To avoid this, follow these simple suggestions, which will make every email much more effective.
Use the subject line to your advantage.
Many of us shoot off emails with generic subject lines, then fail to receive the input requested in a timely manner. Making your email subjects more concise can help. For example, instead of sending an email with the vague subject line, “Staff meeting,” try “Please bring this attachment to 2 p.m. staff meeting.” The latter can inform your recipient of the particulars you need, while also helping your recipient gauge how important your message is.
Choose the recipients of your message with care.
As we’ve stated, many people receive far too many emails. That’s why it’s important to consider who you’re sending your message to before you hit that button. One tip from author Vanessa Van Edwards is to compose the message before adding recipients. This will prevent you from accidentally sending the message too early and allows you to finish your thought before selecting who the message is most applicable to. This, in turn, will prevent others from asking themselves, “Why did I receive this email?”
Eliminate draining or emotional language.
When you find yourself emailing about a mistake that needs fixing, choose your words with care. No one likes to suffer through an email that contains phrases like, “This will be difficult to fix.” Try to keep the message centered on solutions, not the problems at hand, and always refrain from bringing your personal feelings or opinions into the work-related matter. If you must address an emotionally charged issue, or provide constructive feedback to someone, do so via phone call.
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