Nov 18, 2007

Email etiquette: Key to workplace harmony

Consider and then deliver if you want to prevent embarrassing yourself at work with email...

Two-thirds of Australian workers admit to being trigger-happy emailers.

A report found almost half of all workers rely on email as their primary method for business communications, with women 11 per cent more likely to use it than men.

More than half of those surveyed for the report admitted to sending an email that was misunderstood. Grammar and haste could be the main cause of misinterpreted emails.

The report revealed men (48 per cent) were more likely to misread the meaning of an email than women (38 per cent).

40 per cent of workers have sent or received an email that appeared to be offhand, cynical or rude, and 38 per cent have sent or received an email that conveyed anger or was emotional in nature.

Workers can avoid email mishaps by taking the time to craft their reply and not relying on email as their sole method of communication.


Nov 9, 2007

If you message is too serious, don't use email

For sensitive issues, such as appraisals, coaching, counselling, company change, a face-to-face approach is always best.

If any type of work negotiation is involved, such as agreeing deadlines or priorities, meet the person or at least pick up the phone. It's tempting to opt for speed, but an efficient phone conversation often covers all the points more quickly than tens of emails.

One definite no-no is using email for unpleasant messages.

Never, ever send people bad or difficult messages, or anything that puts them down. If there's a problem, speak to them directly. It's about using your discretion.

E-mail at the workplace is a fantastic tool for passing on information quickly, cheaply and easily. But it is dangerous to embrace it as your only means of communicating.

Using email for sensitive and subtle messages not only leads to misunderstandings, but it puts our ability to express ourselves on the fireline.

A golden rule: If you can see or call the person, don't email them. Get out of your chair and talk to them, or pick up the phone and call them. You'll be honing your communications skills, combating email overload, and building better workplace relationships.

See more recomedations for senders using email.