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10 Common Email Mistakes You’re Probably Making At Work

10 Common Email Mistakes You’re Probably Making At Work

There are times when we start to become too comfortable at work. We may not dress as sharp or adorn our offices with personal items that may not be always appropriate. One sign of being too comfortable at work is to become lax on your emails. Here are some email mistakes you may be making.

1. You’re not holding up your end of the bargain

Some people go through a lot of trouble crafting emails that contain a lot of information. If you’re answering those emails with a single sentence then you’re really not holding up your end of the bargain. Answer emails with the appropriate amount of information otherwise people will know you’re figuratively phoning it in.

2. Your emails are full of typos and colloquialisms

If you respond to an email and it says, “sure thing bro, i will b at the meeting by 9. see u there,” that’s probably the wrong way to do it. Even in business environments that are more laid back, it’s important to keep your business communications professional. You never know when you may accidentally send it to someone who isn’t okay with communications like that and you get in trouble. It may take a few extra seconds but it’s better than calling your boss a bro. That’s not cool.

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3. You’re adding smiley faces to your emails

email mistakes

    You may think it’s cute and helps denote the tone of your words, but 44% percent of people believe it’s wildly unprofessional to put smiley faces in business emails. Since that’s nearly half, that means you essentially have a 50/50 shot at sending a smiley to someone who won’t appreciate it. Do yourself a favor and simply don’t.

    4. Your OOTO messages are too rude

    When you’re out of the office, you may leave messages in a hurry so it may be short and gruff. You may not mean any offense or rudeness by it but unfortunately text doesn’t have a tone of voice. Take the extra few seconds and concoct an OOTO message that is appropriate and friendly so people don’t think you’re being mean. It’s a problem that’s easily avoided and solved.

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    5. You don’t leave OOTO messages

    One big mistakes you can make is not handling the emails that come in when you’re gone. If there’s an emergency, someone emails you, and you don’t leave an OOTO message, someone is going to think you dropped the ball. People get downright mad when you don’t let people know you’re out of the office.

    6. You send emails before reviewing the entire conversation

    These days, emails are shown in threads rather than individual responses. Sometimes you may look at the first email and not notice that there are other replies. If you miss them and respond to an email you may end up answering a question or request that’s already been answered. Aside from being embarrassing, it’ll also cause people to question your competence.

    7. You forget to send the attachment or send the wrong attachment

    This one is easy enough to do and everyone does it every now and then. If you plan on sending files along with your email, you have to remember to add them to the email. Not doing so can make others angry at you, gum up the work flow, and even cause more problems if you send it at the end of the day, forget the attachment, and don’t find out until the next day! It just takes a little bit of brain power so don’t forget!

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    8. You failed to include a basic greeting

    email mistakes

      You wouldn’t believe the effect of saying the word “hi” or “hello” when sending an email. Think about it in real life. Would you walk up to someone randomly at work and just telling them stuff? Of course not, you’d said hi or find a way to get their attention first. Emails work much the same way. When you don’t include a greeting, it’s considered rude which can cause problems even when there isn’t one. It’s just a few keystrokes, don’t forget to include the hi!

      9. You don’t use BCC or CC correctly

      In an email there are three fields. There is the main contact box where you put the subject in the email. The CC is the carbon copy and those people will receive a copy of the email and the original recipient will know that the other people have been CC’d. BCC is called a blind carbon copy. People in the BCC get a copy of the email but no one else will know that person got a copy of the email. Don’t use this too often because if people find out that others can see these communications then you’ll be the office snitch. Being a whistleblower can be all good but being the office snitch isn’t.

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      10. Your tone in your email is all wrong

      Text does have a tone. The problem is that the tone is dependent on the person reading it but it doesn’t always have to be. The way you craft your sentences guides people on how to read it. If your sentences are gruff and frank then people will assume you’re communicating in a gruff and blunt manner. Take a little extra time to write full, descriptive sentences so people don’t think you’re being a jerk. It’ll go a long way.

      Pretty much all email mistakes are simple mistakes that are easy to fix. All it requires is a little bit of attention. Communication is important in all forms and that includes electronically. Just keep it smooth and professional and you’ll anger the least number of people.

      Featured photo credit: On Sugar via media4.onsugar.com

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      Joseph Hindy

      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

      How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

      How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

      We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

      So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

      While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

      Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

      What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

      How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

      But what does being productive actually entail?

      Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

      Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

      It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

      Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

      9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

      1. Avoid Multitasking

      Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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      Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

      If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

      2. Turn off Notifications

      According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

      Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

      The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

      Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

      3. Manage Interruptions

      There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

      Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

      If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

      By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

      4. Eat the Frog

      Mark Twain once famously said that:

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      “if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

      What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

      We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

      Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

      5. Cut Down on Meetings

      Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

      You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

      The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

      But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

      If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

      6. Utilize Tools

      Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

      If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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      And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

      Some examples of tools that could be used:

      Communication
      • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
      • Samepage for video conference software.
      • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
      Task Management
      • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
      • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
      • Wekan for an open source option.
      Database Management
      Time Tracking
      • Clockify for a free tracker.
      • TMetric for workspace integrations.
      • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

      You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

      7. Declutter and Organize

      Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

      Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

      Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

      Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

      8. Take Breaks

      Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

      As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

      Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

      Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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      9. Drink Water

      Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

      Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

      Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

      A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

      If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

      You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

      The Bottom Line

      The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

      After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

      In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

      A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

      Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

      More About Boosting Productivity

      Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

      Reference

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