Professor Linda Gold
E-mail Issues in the Workplace
April 4, 2012
In today’s society it is a guarantee that no matter where or who you work for, you will be using a computer and doing tons of electronic correspondence through e-mail. Few people know that e-mail has been around for almost a hundred years. “If 'e-mail' is loosely defined as 'messages transmitted electronically', then the first 'e-mail messages' would have started in the last century with telegraph messages (by wire) and Morse Code transmissions (via airways)” (University of Maryland, 2002). E-mail as we are familiar with today, has come a long way from its origins in the late 1970’s. The patented “You got mail” was the catchphrase of the 90’s and became a staple in our lives. Little did we as a society know exactly how important that little phrase would become in both our personal and professional lives. E-mail is so widely used in todays workforce that individuals often take it for granted and misuse e-mail. In this presentation there will be discussion about proper e-mail etiquette in work correspondence, privacy issues regarding e-mail at work and an employers responsibilities regarding his or hers employees e-mail.
Etiquette within e-mail is harder than a person thinks, but is by far one of the most necessary skills to learn when writing e-mails. When using correspondence within a work place environment there are many universal etiquette rules that everyone should follow regardless of their job may be. One of the rules of e-mail etiquette that is broken in the workplace time and time again is using business e-mail for sending personal e-mails. It is very easy for a worker to mistake their work place e-mail for a personal one and send out e-mails that should be sent solely as a personal e-mail for a multitude of reasons, which we will mention again later. As a worker, it is easy to make friends within the workplace and even develop a close relationship with your supervisor. Some workers make the mistake of sending out e-mails to supervisors and superiors that begin with, “Hey buddy, or Yo man.” This is very unprofessional and could easily get a worker reprimanded. One should take note that ALL e-mails in a work place environment should be sent out with the same respect as if you were talking to the CEO of your company. For example when writing an e-mail to your college professor it should always begin with “Professor so and so, or Mr. or Mrs.,” not “Hey Prof, or the professor’s first name,” unless that professor has given you permission to be that informal. Informality in e-mail can even affect the credibility of the sender, making it so that any request solicited may be ignored due to the lack of professionalism. Many people in the workplace do not use a signature box or over use a signature box. All work place e-mail signature boxes should at least include contact information pertaining to the senders name, the company’s name, a contact phone number, and possibly the sender’s position or title held within the company. When people over use a signature box they add unnecessary components, such as a random quote or excessive job titles, which comes across as trying to look more important on paper than they are in reality. The last two parts of e-mail etiquette we will discuss is the use of attachments and the overuse of the reply function. When using workplace e-mail with attachments people should always consider whom they are sending the e-mail to and what attachment they are sending. Before sending an attachment the sender should send the recipient a courtesy e-mail asking them if it is okay to send them an attachment and ask what format the attachment should be in. One would not like to send a huge business proposal to someone only to find out that the recipient cannot open the attachment because their workplace computers do not allow...
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