Do’s and Don’ts of email etiquette at workplace

Professional Development

Having cautious about Do’s and Don’ts of email etiquette at workplace is equally important as verbal communication. Because, Emails have become one single most used communication channel in the business world and workplace as it’s efficient and effective. It makes the follow up easy and provide the respondent a reasonable time to response in a most efficient way. According to a study suggests that over 25% of our workdays are spent on sending and reading emails at workplace.

Therefore, communicating well in email will increase the change for getting the attention in your organization settings and may assist in building a great business relationship with your co-workers and with your management team.

Here we list out 30 do’s and don’ts of email etiquette that may help you in many aspects and develop you well and sound in professional communication.

Let’s break the do’s and don’ts of email etiquette. So we go with the do’s of email etiquette first.

List of do’s out of Do’s and Don’ts of email etiquette at workplace

Do have a clear subject

Write a clear and crisp subject line that reflects the body of the email. Keep it sufficient. Avoid keeping it too short or too long. Keep it concise and clear to recipient.

Do use a professional salutation

When communicating through emails particularly at business environment no matter whether you send the email to your subordinates or superiors adopt a professional mindset which will ensure no miscommunication or misinterpretation. Therefore, use salutation as appropriate to the recipient. When sending to multiple people of the same position you can use the plural form. For instance, Dear Managers and so on. When sending email to different categories of people, it’s quite better to use a common form of salutation such as Dear Colleagues or Dear Staff or something similar.

Do proofread your message

Writing error free emails is one such skills that is essential in corporate business world. However, it’s obvious we make mistakes depending on different situations. Therefore, before click the send button, make sure to read it again and ensure everything is as correct as possible and free from any form of errors such as typo, grammatical and etc.

Do reply to all emails

Responding emails in a timely manner portrays you as an efficient communicator and responsible professional at workplace. Therefore, take reasonable time to respond the email however not too quickly or too later. Depending on the necessity of the email, respond it. If it’s not possible for you to respond via email but it urges an immediate response try to use another form of communication such texting or making a call.

Do keep private material confidential

In general, though official emails are presumed to be private and confidential if you are unsure whether it’s okay to share the matter via email or not. Avoid it. Try to communicate in person. However, make sure to address the email only to the relevant people. Because, remember once the email is sent you can’t revoke it just like the words spoken can’t be revoked.

Do Know The Culture

If you are working in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and diverse gender based organization and happens to send an email to such diverse range of people use commonly accepted terms rather than culturally or locally influenced words or slang. In rare case if you have to use any examples, use it the same way.

Do Double-Check Your Attachments

Though modern email clients have the option to self-check the attachment in case if we forget to attach anything after leaving some keywords such as attached herewith or so on, it will auto prompt. However, adopt a good practice of attaching the contents at the beginning of your email so that you don’t forget it after compiling the email. It’s also a good practice to open the attachment to make sure the document is the one that you want to attach. To be smarter, keep the name of the attachment relevant to the subject of your email.

Do Reply Expediently

As mentioned replying in a timely manner is a form of sincerity. Demonstrate it without overacting.

Do Keep Your Emails Short

Keep the emails short as possible however not in such a way that it doesn’t communicate what you wanted to communicate. Keeping it to 2 to 3 simple paragraphs are ideal through there are exceptional situations where you have to write little more. Decide is it okay send this as an email?

Do Use Other Communication Channels

Though email is a handy way of communication in workplace remember it’s not the only way for communication. Before, going for writing the email think and decide what is the best way to communicate this matter? Whether in person or over the phone or via email.

E-mail is most suitable in situations where you want to give sufficient time for the recipient to respond and making sure the communication is kept in a formal way. And also, based on the styles of communication that works for the respondent. Sometimes, people often forget the verbal communications.

Do have an ideal signature

Configure an email signature in a professional way to represent you. Try to avoid showing your creativity here. Keep it simple with your designation and contact details.

Keep it clean

Everyone loves simplicity and cleanliness so does email communications. So keep it clean. Avoid using shortcuts to real words, emoticons, jargon, or slang

Out of 30 Do’s and Don’ts of email etiquette above are the list of do’s of email etiquette. Below are the don’ts of email etiquette that you should avoid using.

List of don’ts out Do’s and Don’ts of email etiquette at workplace

Don’t Use BCC

BCC (Blind carbon copy) is one such feature that you should avoid using in email etiquette. It might impress in a negative way and create lot of misconceptions among your staff and employees. If you don’t want someone doesn’t want to know what you send to another one. Don’t include both in a single email. Use separate emails.

Don’t Knock Twice

Don’t send the email and walk to the desk and tell I sent an email and check it. If you can communicate in person, do it.

Don’t Play Email Ping-Pong

Don’t stretch the email sending and receiving. Replying and receiving a response and then sending from your end and receiving back. It’s totally unprofessional. Stop it and discuss in person or make a phone call.

Don’t Use Silly Fonts or Colors

Emails are for communicating the message and not showing the creativity. Make your font and color preferences as a way for easy communication and readability and not to distract from what you wanted to communicate.


As mentioned above, all caps are not reader friendly. Avoid it.

Don’t Broadcast Your Location

You don’t necessarily broadcast your location in the email. Sometimes at the bottom of the email it’s seen “sent from iphone” or “sent from Samsung” and so on. Please avoid them.

Don’t Send Time Sensitive Info

Avoid sending time sensitive matters via email. In case, if the recipient is unable to check it or respond it in a timely manner, it is not the fault of the recipient but yours. Use to communicate such time sensitive matters in person or via over phone. If you happen to share such a matter in email, try to make sure you get the response it time. If not, try to use another medium for communication in order to bring it to the attention of the recipient.

Don’t Shuffle Your Work

Try to avoid email as a form of delegating your works unless the work comes under the role and responsibility of the recipient. If it’s a voluntary work that you want to assign someone at your capacity or need someone to assist voluntarily, it’s better to discuss over the phone or in person if possible.

Don’t Send Large Attachments

Please avoid sending large attachments via emails. Use another way to share such attachments such as googledocs or other similar document sharing tools. In organization settings mailboxes are limited to certain MegaBytes and people at different positions will have different mailbox capacities. Sometimes, there are changes that your attachment doesn’t reach the intended recipients.

Don’t Use Emojis

Emails particularly at work environment are for the business purposes and not for chatting. Therefore avoid emojis, emoticons and similar kind of unprofessional form of expressions.

Don’t Be Negative

Avoid being negative in emails. Rather be rationale, constructive and think from the point of the person on the other end.

Don’t through words from the lip

If you are in an angry mood or confused, don’t send the email. If you want to write, at least keep it in draft for some time and allow you to bring yourself come back to calm and rethink and act accordingly.

Don’t Overuse exclamation points!

Avoid using exclamations and one language skills that we all have to develop is punctuation. Spend sometimes to learn how to use punctuation.

Don’t assume the recipient knows what you are talking about

Don’t presume that the subject that you are communicating to the recipients. Keep it simple and use layman languages as much as possible rather using technical terms which are field specific.

Don’t use humor.

Having humor sense is good but not in email. It may light the sensitivity of the mail and reduce the seriousness of the matter being communicated.

Don’t Hit “Reply All”

Though the mail is received as one of the receivers you don’t need to reply to all. Be conscious and rationale whom you want to include in the response and whom you can leave.

Don’t Forget the Conversation Closer

It’s always a good practice to learn a conversion closer. For instance, if you expect a reply in a stipulated time, mention it. If you don’t expect a reply. Express it so that you don’t get another mail.

Don’t pollute the environment

Doesn’t look like making any sense? Here you go. In a year, an average person in the developed world adds 136kg of CO2 to their carbon footprint from the emails they send and receive. If you want avoid an email by communicating in another form, do it and help keep the environment friendly.

Imagine a situation where all of your staff are aware about these 30 do’s and don’ts of email etiquette you can save plenty of hours at workplace and make better communication among your staff and increase productivity in general.

Please do share any points missing here and your favorite Do’s and Don’ts of email etiquette. Share among your friends and colleagues if you care yourself, others and help preserving the earth from being polluted.

Good luck to see you as an effective email communicator incorporating the above listed Do’s and Don’ts of email etiquette.

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