You’re emailing wrong at work. Follow this etiquette guide.

If you send a colleague an email, is it okay to send a follow-up before they respond?The unwritten rules of email have gotten only more confusing after the pandemic changed the way many of us communicate with people at work. Instead of just talking in-person or using email and phones, we now regularly video conference, instant message and even text.

Not all emails need to be emails. Do you have a quick question to ask a colleague? It may be easier to pop over to their desk or send a quick message over text or through your workplace instant messaging platform. Does it require a long discussion with several people? Maybe a meeting or video call would be better.

“Stick to the purpose of the email, show a personal touch and be done with it,” she said. “It shows respect for the person’s time and that you know what you’re doing.”Don’t make your reader work for the information in your email. The standard format is to start with a greeting — a hello, hi or good morning/afternoon plus their name — followed by a few separate paragraphs and a sign off, such as thank you, then a comma followed by your name.

As the receiver of an email, it’s good form to let the sender know you got the message even if it doesn’t require a response, Weckerle said.before responding. But don’t get too casual or unfiltered as emails can always be forwarded to other recipients.

Digital tools can also help with tone. Artificial intelligence bots like ChatGPT allow you to drop in your text and ask what tone it’s written in (just be cautious the email doesn’t include any private information), Losee said. Grammarly also has a tone checker.

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