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15 email etiquette rules every professional should know

15 email etiquette rules every professional should know

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Be cautious with humor when you write a work email.

  • For many professionals, responding to emails takes up a sizable chunk of work time.
  • While writing an email seems simple enough, there are mistakes many employees make when sending or receiving work messages.
  • From avoiding the "reply all" button to double-checking for errors, here are 15 email etiquette tips every professional should know.
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Whether we like it or not, responding to emails consumes much of our time on the job.

Employees spend an average of 4.1 hours a day checking work email, according to a survey conducted by The Washington Post. That means workers log a whopping 47,000 hours in their inbox over the course of a career.

Despite the fact that we're glued to our reply buttons, career coach Barbara Pachter says plenty of professionals still don't know how to use emails appropriately.

Read more: I've been hiring people for 10 years, and I still swear by a simple rule: If someone doesn't send a thank-you email, don't hire them.

Because of the sheer volume of messages we're reading and writing, we may be more prone to making embarrassing errors, and those mistakes can have serious consequences.

Pachter outlines the basics of modern email etiquette in her book "The Essentials of Business Etiquette." We pulled out the most essential rules you need to know.

Jacquelyn Smith, Vivian Giang and Rachel Sugar contributed to earlier versions of this article.


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