Email Etiquette in the Workplace
Email seems to be a method of communication that isn't going away anytime soon. Since its inception in the early 70's, email has continued to be a universal form of communication in the business world. For me personally, I have encountered email as an intern here at JNT Company and throughout my years in college to communicate with superiors, such as professors & management as well as clients & fellow classmates. I often find myself spending about 5-7 minutes on an email, ensuring that I have the proper greeting/salutation, and that my email is crafted in a professional manner. However, I have begun to notice that this much attention to detail is not a universal practice when it comes to email. Is one better than the other? Is drafting the perfect email really that important??
I set out to answer these questions.
What I did:
- Sent out a survey on my personal facebook & around the JNT office, asking people to answer honestly about how important proper email etiquette is in their specific workplace.
- I wanted to ensure that a variety of occupations took the survey, in an effort to determine if the importance of email etiquette varies between occupations.
Overall, I was decently successful in getting a large number of people to take the survey (53) in variety of occupations including:
- Marketing & Communications
- Food Industry
- Medical Field
- Public Service
- Freelance writer
- Nonprofit management
- Engineering services
I had a big percentage (57.8%) of my survey respondents in the 18-30 age range. Additionally, 15.1% ranging from 41-50 years as well as 51-60 years.
Applicants mostly used GMAIL as their main email platform. (78.8%)
Respondents Current Email Habits
- 92.5% of people use email DAILY
- 75% respondents currently USE AN EMAIL SIGNATURE
- Only 9.6% spent 11-20 minutes on an email (38.5% spend only 5-10 minutes)
- 80% Of people use email to COMMUNICATE WITH SUPERIORS (whereas only 1.9% uses to communicate with friends)
- Other common uses:
- 65.4% - Communicate with Clients / Users
- 32.7% - Business Inquiries
- 59.7% - Scheduling
Importance of Proper Email Etiquette
How important is proper email etiquette in your field?
**Looking at the fields with the highest number of respondents**
- Medical Field: 80% - Very Important
- Journalism & Marketing: 50% - Very Important
Poor email etiquette is something I notice:
- 66% very strongly agreed
People who used poor email techniques are less likely to receive a reply from me:
- 13 people did not agree
- 9 people very strongly agreed
Applicants were asked to rate how Important these aspects are to a good email:
- Timely Response: 25/53 - VERY important
- Subject Line:15/53 - VERY important
- Email Address: 24/53 - VERY important
- Salutation (Hello & Goodbye): 15/53 - INDIFFERENT
- Signature: 15/53 -INDIFFERENT
- Verbiage/Content: 28/53 - VERY important
After looking at all the data I have collected, I may not have found my exact answer. However, It will change the way I form an email from now on.
With the findings of 66% saying they notice improper email etiquette - I feel as tho spending a decent amount of time on an email is necessary in order for superiors to take me seriously.. Keeping in mind however, that most people are only spending 1-2 minutes on an email.
Tip #1: don't dwell on an email that may be trivial in the grand scheme of things.. chances are it may go unnoticed
Additionally, Verbiage & Content of an email are still very important things to check before pressing the send button Tip #2: PROOF READ.
Your Email Address is also something that 23/53 people said is VERY important therefore:
Tip #3: Make sure your email is professional and applicable to your position or states your name clearly. (firstname.lastname@example.org = bad Johsmith@gmail.com = good!)
To conclude, I will still probably spend too long on an email compared to my peers, however it looks like either way.. I am still going to get a reply. So... I guess the choice is up to you.
Now get back to work, you have emails to write!! :)