MORE than a quarter of adults have landed themselves in hot water after sending a ‘strongly worded’ email – with emojis considered a serious no-no, according to research.
A survey of 2,000 professionals who use emails for work revealed the dos and don’ts when it comes to constructing a digital message.
A fifth wouldn’t dream of using emojis, while three in 10 hate ‘text speak’ in an email.
And one in 10 will relax their tone of voice with co-workers within the first week of starting a new job.
Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) are happy to take a more candid tone with clients, but when it comes to the ‘boss’ just 57 per cent would do the same.
Unfortunately, of those who didn’t take appropriate cautions when emailing, many received an unhappy response – with 22 per cent getting a telling-off from the boss, and one in 10 having to write an apology.
When asked about the worst thing they’ve ever sent or received over email, one respondent said they sent a fake resignation, while another delivered a message intended for their wife to the boss.
Nicole Stevens, spokesperson for Mailbird, which commissioned the research, said: “Self-awareness when drafting emails has never been more important, and recognising that tone can differ hugely from business to business and person to person.
“It does appear there are some concrete things people don’t like to receive over email, and things many wouldn’t send.
“But email, as with all language, evolves over time – who knows, in 30 years, everyone might be emailing exclusively with emojis.”
The study also found four in 10 respondents get annoyed when people in their company ‘reply all’ to an email they didn’t really need to.
A third feel irritated when people forget to attach things they’ve mentioned in the body of an email, and 11 per cent are frustrated when they are referred to by the wrong gender.
Nearly half (45 per cent) have received emails with their name spelled incorrectly, while 32 per cent confessed to having done the same thing to someone else.
TOP 40 ‘BEST PRACTICE’ RULES WHEN IT COMES TO EMAIL:
- Proofread your email
- Read the email carefully before responding
- Check you’ve attached your documents
- Double-check who you are sending the email to
- Check your punctuation/ grammar
- Make sure you’ve spelt the recipient’s name correctly
- Don’t put ‘kisses’
- Don’t use ‘text speak’
- Don’t hit ‘reply all’ unless everyone needs to know
- Don’t hit send when you’re emotional
- Don’t use acronyms like ‘TYVM’ instead of ‘thank you very much’
- Remove people who SHOULD NOT see your email from the CC: field
- Don’t use capitals to get your point across
- Pause a minute or two before sending heated emails
- Don’t use slang
- Don’t send confidential information
- Don’t gossip
- Keep paragraphs short for easy reading
- Don’t use emojis
- Don’t forget to CC everyone that needs to be included
- Know when NOT to send an email, such as making a phone call instead
- Don’t flirt with someone
- Don’t use GIFs
- Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face – such as making a complaint
- Don’t include sarcasm
- Include an email signature
- Reply within 24 working hours
- Don’t forget to close the conversation, such as ‘Let me know if you have any questions’
- Don’t use ‘hi’ or ‘hey’ but say ‘Good morning’ or ‘Hello’
- Don’t over-use exclamation marks
- Don’t send emails outside of working hours
- Don’t be too blunt/ to the point
- Make sure you introduce yourself
- Don’t email co-workers about personal things, like weekend plans
- Always start with ‘Hope you’re well’ or similar
- Don’t get ‘pushy’
- Don’t make jokes
- Understand the culture of the country you are emailing
- Don’t put the question/ email in the email subject
- Include your preferred pronouns in your email signature
On average, emailers will go for four entire messages with a misspelled name before they correct their correspondent.
Just under two-thirds (65 per cent) blame composing emails in a rush for making mistakes, while 31 per cent said the volume is simply too great.
However, 22 per cent admitted they’re just too lazy to properly proofread their compositions, according to the OnePoll research.
While 17 per cent sometimes write emails ‘in the heat of the moment’ and say things they don’t mean.
More than one in 10 (12 per cent) have accidentally copied someone into an email they should only have been ‘blind copied’ into, leaving them in trouble – or even breaking GDPR rules.
As a result, 33 per cent have Googled for advice on how to send an email properly.
It also emerged that an average of two hours and 20 minutes is spent sending, reading, writing and checking emails a day – with 33 unread messages currently sitting in their inbox.
Nicole added: “Emails are a huge part of day-to-day life for almost everybody.
“Even if you don’t use them for work purposes, nearly all of us have an email account we use.
“While many will just use it to set up accounts, there will be times when messages need to be crafted.
“A good rule of thumb is to start email conversations professionally – like with fashion, you can never be over-professional.
“Then, after a few messages have gone back and forth, you can gauge the other person’s attitude and maybe bring it down a notch if needed.”