Having a job in the 21st century probably requires you to send emails in the workplace, whether it be for requesting time off or collaborating on a project that needs to be done. When writing emails, it’s best to adhere to a few best practices, and one of the best advice when sending an email, especially one for the workplace, is to keep it simple.
Consider the Reader
To illustrate this point, put yourself in the shoes of the person receiving the email. Would you want to read a three-page long essay about why someone needs a day off next week? Provide the facts and numbers and remove all the fluff from the email. The shorter and more to the point the better, and when sending an effective and productive email, keep it concise. No one wants to read a life story when all they asked for was the weekly numbers. Only give what information is necessary.
Watch for Mistakes
Best practice number two, and one of the biggest mistakes, is improper grammar or misspellings in emails. This is a HUGE no-no. It looks sloppy using “u” instead of “you” or a lowercase “i” instead of uppercase. In general, avoid using “text” speech (how you would text someone) when using email communications. Using a free browser plug-in like Grammarly can help avoid such a faux pas. Or, putting in the email into a word editor like Microsoft Word and Word will show what is misspelled.
As with anything, avoid too much emotion in emails. Workplace emails that include too many exclamation points or any number of smiley faces can be taken the wrong way and interpreted differently than originally intended.
The Five W's
When drafting a professional email, remember the five W’s: Who, What, When, Where, and a conditional Why. The conditional Why should be used with caution and differs from person to person. There are some individuals that would like a reason that time is being requested off during, while others don’t.
Writing a professional email can be an anxious task to do, but with constant practice and implementing a few best practices, keeping it simple won’t be so challenging.