Email Etiquette in the Workplace

Email has become a backbone of the modern workplace. So much so, that the average worker receives up to 121 emails a day. With so much information flying about daily, you want to ensure that everything you send is up to scratch. After all, sending your boss an email with the abbreviation ‘lol’ in is probably not going to win you that Christmas bonus.

As a business, we here at Q2Q-IT know the importance of a well-crafted email. So, what rules should you follow in your workplace emails to keep things professional and ensure colleague relations run smoothly?


Your colleagues are not all literature experts able to distinguish meaning from flowery prose, so beautiful as your email may be the message may be lost in translation. Direct instructions or requests, therefore, work much better. If it’s a long task then lay it out in clear stages, such as with bullet points, to help your colleague understand the task fully. If they get it wrong because your instructions were unclear, the fault lies with you.

Worried that you are coming across too direct or demanding? Please and thank you go a long way to smoothing over people’s annoyance, so be direct but also be polite!


Short and sweet is an age-old proverb, that applies directly to emails. People hate reading long emails, it wastes time and the message of the email could have been conveyed in around ten words instead. So, try and keep your emails down to two or three sentences at most. Anything longer should only be so if it is a more official or task orientated email.

…But Don’t Abbreviate 

As we said, ‘lol’ to your boss is never a good idea. Nor is any other abbreviation that might come to mind. It’s not professional and can lower the tone. It is also not a good face to put into emails in the case they are viewed by senior members of staff, as they may consider it an inappropriate use of company emails.

Formal language is a must in work emails, by all means, you can be friendly, but don’t forget where you are or who you are addressing when you send them.

Reduce CC’s 

Do you really need to include Bob from accounting with CC in an email about the HR meeting being held at 3 pm? Probably not. You should always be certain that the person you are including in your emails actually needs to be there. People receive so many emails in a day, any unnecessary emails are just clogging up their inbox and causing unnecessary irritation.

Don’t Dismiss Face to Face 

Of course, you should be considering if you even need to send an email at all. A face to face discussion may be faster and convey your message more easily. Of course, you could follow up this interaction with an email to remind your colleague of the points of your discussion if it is a big issue or time sensitive. However, a simple real-world conversation can much more efficiently resolve any small points or issues.

The overuse of emails is perhaps a larger problem in the workplace than you might think. After all, are those 121 emails all completely necessary or relevant to those that receive them?

Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you with hosted business email by calling 01524 581 690 for Lancaster or 01772 395 693 for Preston.

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