6 Best Practices for Email Communication in the Workplace

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In the workplace, emails are constantly sent concerning all types of matters. Email communication is a convenient and effective way of reminding someone about a meeting scheduled for that afternoon or discussing a particular work-related topic.

So, what practices can be implemented to ensure effective and professional email communication in the workplace?

There are several practices to ensure effective and professional email communication in the workplace. These practices include having a specific and clear subject line, writing clear and brief emails, using correct grammar and punctuation, considering your audience, and several others.

Carrying out these practices is extremely crucial in the workplace as it allows email communication to serve its purpose of being convenient, effective, and easy to deliver messages to co-workers, partners, or clients. So let us explore these practices in more detail.

Let's get started.

1. Have a Specific and Clear Subject Line

The subject line should be specific and clear when sending emails to ensure the reader understands what the email addresses or concerns. A bad subject line often results in important emails ending up in the trash folder, and emails without a subject line are often detected as spam.

For example, if you send an email informing a co-worker about a meeting that has been scheduled for the afternoon, make the subject line of your email as follows:

  • Meeting Today in The Boardroom at 3:30 pm.

So, ensure that you remain as specific as possible regarding the subject line of your emails, as it will immediately allow your co-workers to get the point of the email.

2. Write Clear and Brief Emails

In the corporate world, professionals receive numerous emails daily regarding different matters. There is nothing more annoying than receiving an incredibly long email. Therefore, another important practice for email communication in the workplace is to ensure that the email you send to a co-worker is clear and brief.

To ensure the emails are brief and clear, be direct and informative and only include all relevant information and details that the receiver needs to know or be aware of.

Remember: Before you start typing away, take the time to think about the message you want to get across and be clear in the message.

3. Use the Correct Grammar and Punctuation

Workplace professional emails should always be written using correct grammar and appropriate punctuation. You should only be using sentence cases when writing professional emails to a co-worker.

The following should be avoided when writing professional emails:

  • Writing in all caps. Writing professional emails in all caps can come across as aggressive or as if you are shouting at the receiver. You can use capital letters for acronyms and initialisms.
  • Overusing exclamation marks. You can use one exclamation mark, but using too many is unprofessional and implies that you are shouting.

To make sure you use the correct grammar and punctuation, use a free online writing assistant such as Grammarly and adjust the goals as follows:

  • Domain: Business or Email
  • Intent: Inform
  • Audience: Your preference
  • Formality: Formal

4. Take Your Audience Into Consideration

In the workplace, co-workers, partners, colleagues, and clients are from different cultures and communicate differently. Therefore, you must consider your audience first when writing a professional email.

To ensure the audience receives and understands the email correctly and without possibly being offended in any way, consider the following points to help guide you and send a perfectly professional email:

  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Identities
  • Marital Status
  • Culture
  • Religion

Suppose you are unsure about the above points and do not know much about the person you are emailing. In that case, you can follow an example of an email received from the recipient and write the email similarly to how that person communicates.

5. Be Sure to Reply to all Emails

Whether you receive an email from a co-worker, partner, or client, it is important to acknowledge that the email was received by replying in a timely fashion instead of reading and not replying.

So, once you have received an email, be sure to respond immediately or within an hour. Prioritize important emails that require immediate attention and respond to those first. If you receive detailed emails, you should reply informing the sender that you have received the email and that you will send a more detailed response shortly. You can use the following examples to reply quickly to emails if you have little time or need to respond to many at a time.

6. Be Professional at all Times

Although you might know your co-workers, partners, or clients on a friendship level, you should still remain professional when writing emails to them regarding work-related matters.

In order to write emails professionally at work, you should avoid the following:

  • Emoticons or emojis
  • Slang or jargon
  • Informal language
  • Inappropriate abbreviations

Furthermore, the email may need to be printed and presented to another party. Therefore, keep all emails in the workplace professional by maintaining a serious tone and avoiding humor or jokes that could be misunderstood or considered inappropriate. 

Final Thoughts

Although there are many other beneficial practices for email communication in the workplace, we have explored six of the best to discuss and explore in more detail. To ensure email communication in the workplace runs smoothly and remains effective, it is crucial to ensure that all emails have a specific subject line, they are brief and clear, and that the right grammar and punctuation are used.

Furthermore, before sending emails, one should definitely consider their audience, reply to all emails as soon as possible, and remain professional at all times.

(Related: The Best Virtual Meeting Tools for Improved Remote Team Collaboration)

About the Author

I have been in the 'online business' space since 2009 when I started an eCommerce business selling motorcycle parts (sold in 2012). Since then I have owned and operated several successful online business (and had a fair share of failures), along with owning offline home services businesses. Currently my focus is online businesses that are profitable with paid traffic. As a 'self employed individual' I do not use Linkedin, but you can connect with my on my personal instagram and youtube which largely revolve around my mountain biking passion!