Email Etiquette for a Happy Workplace

Email etiquette is key to a healthy productive workplace, but everyone who emails in a professional capacity can tell you nightmare stories of co-workers who practice poor emailing etiquette. It’s generally funny when it goes wrong — unless you’re the one who messed up and ruined everything.

Reply All

The bane of everyone’s inbox is the dreaded “reply all-mageddon.” That is, when someone hits “reply all” to an email broadcast, and suddenly everyone in the office is also hitting reply all, desperately trying to unsubscribe from this email chain that they never wanted to be a part of anyway. It can get way out of hand incredibly quickly, but all of this can be avoided if you just don’t click “reply all.”

Emoji, Fonts, and Colors

Emoji in chats with friends are fun and funny: a good way to communicate your feelings without a lot of words. Odd fonts and different colors might be fine on a child’s poster. Emoji, nonstandard fonts, and bright colors in a professional email are invariably cringeworthy and nightmarishly unprofessional. They make the people reading them vaguely uncomfortable, and they make the person writing them look childish and silly. Just don’t.


Last but not least, keep professional emails short and sweet, for everyone’s sakes. Anyone who communicates regularly via email will tell you that no one reads those long emails anyway, so just get to the point as soon as humanly possible. If you want to write an effective, professional email, be as clear as you can about what you mean, what you need, and what you expect the recipient to do next.

Finally, read emails and reply promptly. Don’t let them linger on in your inbox any longer than absolutely necessary. Emails are an unavoidable part of office life, the least you can do is show a little respect and common courtesy.