For every member of the modern-day workplace, it is essential that all communications are handled with ease, professionalism, and efficacy. Bygone is the era where this simply meant retaining a sense of composure through business-to-business letters and maintaining proper etiquette on telephone calls; nowadays, in addition to other new forms of communication, e-mail as emerged as an overwhelmingly pervasive tool used by virtually everyone.
But even electronic mail has its own set of social mores and strictures, which should be heeded lest an employee write a message that proves to be humiliating, or even result in dire consequences that could include outright job loss. Considering the instant-gratification, multimedia, technologically advancing culture that today’s working world exists in, writing great e-mails is only going to grow more and more important. To this end, there are a few things to avoid saying in e-mail at work.
Although it may seem like a good idea to forward that latest funny quip to your co-worker friends, in actuality this is a bad idea. Much like those annoying chain-letter forwards that your great-aunt still sends you every day, a joke e-mail is highly unprofessional, unwelcome, and irrelevant to any actual working tasks. Sending a funny e-mail makes the statement that you do not care about your work, that you are slacking off, that you are easily distracted, and you have no respect for proper decorum and conduct.
In addition, sense of humor vary widely on a person-by-person basis, and something you deem as hilarious can be seen as completely offensive to others. If you absolutely must send along a humorous e-mail, at least double-check your common sense and make sure that none of the content can be taken the wrong way or offend any of your fellow office workers.
Often in a workplace, especially one that you are passionate about and committed to, deep relationships can form. These can be true friendships, romantic entanglements, and other forms of human interaction. Because of the bonds that the common ground of day-to-day work can form, sometimes the temptation arises to share personal items over e-mail.
Depending on the nature of the personal topics, this can cause definite workplace disadvantages. Repeatedly sharing your away-from-work troubles can earn you a reputation as being insecure, needy, clingy, and a baggage-toxic person that people will avoid in the future. Sharing overly detailed examples of your family, relationship, or hobby life can cause similar sensations of unease and discomfort. Not only is there the price of awkwardness to consider, but many companies institute policies against sharing personal information over e-mail lines.
Considering the increasingly interactive nature of the computing world and the back doors that hackers are still discovering in even state-of-the-art systems, information security remains a significant priority for organizations. You may think that your e-mail is safe, secret, and secure, but to be safe, you should be sending sensitive information by means other than e-mail, because once you fire that message into cyberspace, you may not know whose hands it will ultimately fall into.
Although there are many other, more specific subjects not to share in an e-mail, these are the big three, and your employer will be grateful for not indulging in any of the above misconducts.