Email: it's a part of every workday for most office workers, if not all of them. It's so ubiquitous, it can be tempting to slack off when it comes to writing and responding to email, and paying attention to what goes into those emails. After all, email is a response from the company and represents your company.
Failure to observe some basic email principals can put your job in jeopardy.
- Remember that company email isn't private. It may seem that way, but company email is company property that is stored on company servers. Whether it's in response to a lawsuit, client request or complaint, your email could be searched at any time. How would you feel if your boss went through your work email right now? If the thought makes you uncomfortable, it's time to look at email differently.
- Proofread your emails. This is both for professionalism and clarity. Make sure that what you say won't be misinterpreted and that the meaning is clear. Remember, people lose much of what's communicated in written form. There's no facial expression or tone of voice to pair with your words. Try to be clear and unemotional in any written communication you send.
- Don't send late-night email. Number one, because you may be tired and make mistakes or respond in a way you might not if your head was clear. Second, because your email may get buried in the recipient's inbox before they even get it. Third, because if the recipient does see it, they might forget about it before the next day. Instead, write a draft and save it to send in the morning.
- Don't send email when you're angry. Again, because there is no tone of voice or body language in an email, it's easy to take it the wrong way. It's also easy and gratifying to write a zinger of a response that you may regret sending later. If someone riles you up via email, take a break from that interaction. If you can, go see them and talk face to face to try and clear up any misunderstanding. If you can't, set that aside and deal with it later when you're calm or had a chance to talk over the situation with someone. If all else fails, write that zinger and save the draft for 24 hours to see if it's still worth sending.
If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.
Our attorneys have more than 40 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.