Emails comprise a major chunk of our daily interaction within offices. From simple memos to comprehensive announcements, everything is done as much in person as it is electronically. Understanding how to leverage this communication channel effectively can greatly boost the way your office dynamics work.
Much of the advice regarding emails is borne of a desire to be clear and courteous, but we often forget these in the hectic routine.
To become an effective email-er, here’s what you should be doing.
Keep it simple.
Everyone in an office is handling multiple things simultaneously, which restricts the available time they have. Keeping this in mind, make your emails crisp in language and concise in their message. If you want someone to do something, state exactly that. Longer messages make it difficult for your reader to process the information and understand the task.
Make better use of the subject line.
Instead of sending an email with the title “meeting,” be more specific. Stating “Monthly Review Meeting – 10 A.M. March 23rd, 2016” is able to tell the recipient all the details right off the bat. If you are conveying a message small enough to be contained in the subject, use EOM (End of Message) to signify that is all. For instance “Please send the financial report by Tuesday 8 PM! EOM” is enough to get the job done.
Tone matters; be polite!
Just like your body language matters when you meet with people, the tone you use in your emails has an impact on the way it is received. Always maintain a measured, calm tone and be careful with your choice of words, punctuation, and even the length of your sentences. Without them, your recipient may completely misunderstand you which will lead to more problems.
Don’t overdo it.
While each email seems small, the time taken to read and respond to a large volume affects everyone’s productivity. Where possible, talk to people directly, in person or through the phone. Emails should not be treated as a substitute for instant messaging or used to carry out discussions.
Always ensure that you thoroughly read your message before you send it. Not only should you be checking for spelling and grammatical errors, you should also be looking at the message for its efficacy – is it really doing the job you want? It also reflects your professionalism, much like your body language!