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Seb Anthony

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Email Etiquette


I need to put together a brief Do's & Dont's guide and / or policy on sending internal email, with a view to reducing the amount of unnecessary emails that Managers typically receive, either directly or cc'd.

The aim is to encourage more face to face contact, discourage a culture of sending emails to "cover your own neck" and reduce the 100s of emails that Managers typically have to sift through when they dare to take holiday!!!.

Guidelines on how to write emails, keep them concise (with minimal attachments), when to cc etc also of interest.

Any materials / ideas very much welcome!
Emma Edwards

4 Responses

  1. Eleven Commandments

    I have a copy of an article, The Eleven Commandments For Controlling Your E-mail. It covers some of the issues you mention. I can e-mail it to you.

    [email protected]

  2. E mail etiquette
    Hi Emma
    I have a 2 page handout I can let you have – practical tips on sending and receiving emails. If you, or anyone else is interested, please drop me an email – [email protected]
    Happy Days!

  3. Email Free Day
    Going a little off subject…
    Many companies have one email free day per week and that seems to work quite well. A previous company had email free Wednesday. I loathed the idea when I first heard it, particularly if my only day in the office was Wednesday!
    However, it does make you communicate with your colleagues and can short circuit drawn out discussions.

    I have been converted and this comes from someone who is constantly emailing the person sitting next to me! If you’re going to implement something like that expect lots of resistance and your IT people will need to pick up on who is sending emails on that day. (I received more than one telephone call asking me to desist – it certainly made me think twice if the message was not essential!)

  4. regulation vs Self-regulation

    In principle this is a great idea and something I had wanted to do for a long time. However, e-mail is a lateral method of communication so any top-down policy or set of guidelines (regardless of how well-intentioned) will at best only achieve begrudging compliance.

    Perhaps a more realistic approach would be to encourage self-regulation by getting people to think about the consequences of how they use e-mail together with some of the more salient legal issues. I tried to provoke some thought on this by writing a pithy article in our in-house magazine. I subsequently posted this on a website under the name of it D. Cunningham — the link is attached….. you need to scroll down a little bit.

    If you decide to go ahead with a set of do’s and don’ts then consider what action you will take if this is breached and what resources you have available to police such an approach.

    Good luck



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