The Rules for the Paperless Office

There is no doubt Email has made our lives easier. No more pens, paper, stamps and envelopes. With this ease comes some common mistakes that can easily be avoided.

Who am I?
Once you have built a relationship with someone there is no need to be overly formal, however, addressing the email with a simple “Hi Melanie” is a pleasantry that should never be skipped. Skipping it is the email equivalent of yelling “hey you” to someone on the street!

Who are you?

Nothing is more frustrating than an email with no contact details. Make life easy for everyone and set up an automatic signature so your recipient need never go searching for your contact details. If your recipient is an anything like me (i.e. has a five second attention span) they may never bother to go looking for your details.

If you wouldn’t say it to my face, then don’t send it in an email.
It’s easy to be ballsy in an email. You can vent without having to confront the recipient, just remember; if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face then its best not to put it in an email. Emails can be printed and forwarded. I have seen a nasty email argument between two co-workers spread like wild fire when it was forwarded to more than 100 employees by mistake. No one needs their dirty laundry aired to the masses!

Spell check, spell check spell check!
Emails between friends or family can be as casual as you like, but in a business context they should read no differently to a written letter. Spell check is there for a reason, use it but remember that its not fool proof. If you are over the age of 16 and still using ” text speak” in your emails its time to stop. LOL, BTW, CUL8TR….

What does your email address say about you?
Keep it clean and keep it simple! I once received a job application via email where the applicants email address was “hot” and a slang word used to describe female genitalia – I will leave it up to your imagination. It didn’t give a great first impression, and in case you were wondering she did not get the job! In a business context, an email address with your business name behind the @ is a lot more professional than using gmail, yahoo, hotmail or any of the other freebie accounts.
Eg. melanie.miller@www.smallfish.com.au

Do you really want to “Reply to all”?
Use the reply to all option with caution. Is your reply really relevant to all of the original recipients?
I know of a company director who sent out an email to her team of employees outlining some basic company policies that were not being adhered to. One of her not so loyal team members hit the “Reply to all” button sending a rather unflattering description of the boss to not only all of her colleagues but also to her boss. She now flips burgers for a living, or so I have heard!

Using Caps lock
Did you know that using capitals in an email is like YELLING AT SOMEONE? If you need particular text to stand out italics or bold is more appropriate, unless of course you do really want to yell – before you do read my third point again!

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See you later.

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