When you work from home, sometimes your only form of contact with your colleagues is through email. And whether you’re answering a coworker’s question of providing clarification to your boss, emails can easily be misconstrued. Here are three ways in which you can send an email that reflects what you truly mean to say.
Sure, you are friendly with your boss, but that’s no reason to ditch the formalities. You should always include a salutation in your original email and address the person by his or her name. Be sure to state what you need—or your response to her previous query—politely, without using any language that could be inflammatory, suggestive or disrespectful.
When you worked in a regular office, you could get up from your desk and stop by your boss’ office if you didn’t understand her recent request. But when thousands of miles—or even an ocean—separate you from an actual office, you’ll need to rely upon email primarily to clear up any confusion. So write down exactly what you need, in simple terms. That way, your boss won’t have to send a follow-up email asking for clarification.
Upon reading what you’ve written to your colleague, you may think that your message is completely understandable. Chances are, though, it’s not. It’s a good idea, then, to restate your thoughts in a summary sentence before sending the email. By simply reiterating your original thought in the concluding paragraph (and proofreading before you hit send!, you can be guaranteed that the initial intent of your email will come across loud—and clear—each and every time.
It’s easy to dash off a quick email to your coworkers or your boss without paying too much attention to what you’re writing. But by taking the time to be professional, think your thoughts through clearly and express them well, you can ensure that your emails give an accurate representation of who you are as both a worker and as a person.