The importance of effective e-mail communication in a work environment
Email is the best method for a business to communicate faster, and cheaper. It is accessible and easily replicated. Using email to communicate in a work environment can greatly benefit businesses as it provides efficient and effective ways to transmit all kinds of electronic data. Using email to communicate in a work environment or outside in a work environment has long been a core tool for communications.
The use of e-mail communication in a work environment is very vital as it can increase efficiency, productivity, and business readiness.
There are two primary types of email in the workplace
Request-and-Reply Emails: Most emails in the workplace fall into this category. Request emails usually expect a reply. This kind of email could ask questions, specify tasks people need to complete or ask colleagues to acknowledge or comment on policies, meetings, or projects.
Confirmation Emails: This kind of email creates a permanent, written record of a conversation that has taken place. For example, if you and a colleague discussed collaborating on a project over lunch, you might send them an email with the details of that conversation. This gives you both a record of the conversation and allows for the conversation to continue if needed.
Using email to communicate in a work environment is:
- Cheap – sending email costs the same regardless of distance and the number of people you send it to reach
- Fast – an email should reach its recipient in minutes, or at the most within a few hours
- Convenient – your message will be stored until the recipient is ready to read it, and you can easily send the same message to a large number of people
- Permanent – you can keep a record of messages and replies, including details of when a message was received
The importance of e-mail communication: an efficient email needs to have the following charter: efficiency; reasonability; and professionalism
One of the main advantages of email is that you can quickly and easily send electronic files such as text documents, photos, and data sheets to several coworkers simultaneously by attaching the file to an email. You can gain further advantages and increase your efficiency by setting up your email software to:
Automatically create entries in your address book for every message you send or receive responses to incoming emails automatically, e.g. to confirm receipt of an order, or to let people know that you are on leave or out of the office
Be SMART in Your Emails – using email to communicate
Just like goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound, using email to communicate in a work environment or any other professional emails should also be SMART – state the purpose, the required action, and the timeline for the action.
The average office worker receives up to 80 emails each day. With that volume of mail, many messages will be overlooked. With these simple rules outlined below, your emails will get noticed or acted upon.
- Don’t over-communicate by email.
- Make good use of subject lines.
- Keep messages clear and brief.
- Be polite.
- Check your tone.
Importance of acknowledging/responding an email in a work environment
You will be seen as reliable: When you send email (using email to communicate) acknowledgments to the sender e.g. HR, you are also letting them know that you are responsive, prompt, and even trustworthy. Those who send you messages will know you’re a reliable person. You are giving the impression that you mean business and appreciate the speed in your correspondence.
You lose favor points in the relationship: Business is all about relationships and doing favors for people in your network. No one likes takers who do not give back. So, when I don’t answer an email I am losing favor points that could be used when I need something.
You never really know where an interaction will lead: You never know where things will lead in the business world. A simple “hey, it’s been a while, what are you guys working on,” could be the opening comment that leads to a discussion about a new technology that I didn’t know existed. You never know.
Not answering violates the golden rule: The biggest problem with not responding to emails (using email to communicate), is you will be treated the same way you treat people. Most people get upset when you ignore their messages and will want to treat you the same way. Not answering or responding to email is a clear violation of business ethics, and it is bad karma. How on earth can you expect your emails to get answered when you were not answering emails sent to you?
It buys you time: Your email acknowledgments don’t need to be a long reply. You can simply say “OK” or “Understood.” By using these statements, you are buying yourself time for contemplation and deliberation. Instead of someone waiting for your long reply, they will relax and cut you some slack that whatever they are requesting will get done.