The average office worker sends or receives around 121 emails each day (source). That’s a lot of messages to read through, respond to, and organize. When we’re dealing with this many emails on a daily basis, it becomes increasingly important that we strategize to increase or efficiency.
Check out these 5 myths about effective email communication that we need to set straight immediately.
Emails are for more in-depth communication, so they should be long and detailed.
While some email communications are indeed quite involved, many professionals who communicate via email often are too busy to work through many complex emails. It’s a common courtesy to keep your emails concise unless more information is necessary or requested.
Informal emails convey friendliness.
Using abbreviations, emoticons, and other informal writing conventions are great for texting friends, but not for emailing business communications. It looks sloppy and unprofessional, so just skip the “:)” and the “lol” in your emails. It’s always best to be too formal rather than too informal.
You don’t have to clean out your inbox as long as you’re opening the important emails.
Scrolling through dozens of junk messages is just inefficient, even if you’re not pressed for time. Avoid the mess by sorting relevant emails into folders and deleting anything you don’t need. It’ll save you time and stress, and your correspondents will likely hear back from you sooner.
Emailing is less time-sensitive than phone calls, so you’re in no hurry to respond.
In this day and age, many business professionals are expected to maintain nearly constant access to their email inboxes. While some communications can wait a day or two, many are time-sensitive and require prompt attention. A good rule of thumb is to check your inbox at least once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
You should check your inbox every time you receive a new email.
It’s a good idea to be in the habit of checking your inbox regularly (to keep it organized and to make sure you’re not missing important information), but becoming too obsessed with those new messages could be harming your productivity elsewhere. Stay focused on your current task and just check your inbox when you’ve finished or reached a stopping point.
Are you guilty of believing one or more of these myths about effective email communication? If you are, it’s time to brush up on your communication techniques and step up your email game.