Email is probably the second most common form of office interaction after Slack chats. No one uses the phone or talks face-to-face anymore, although getting up and around might be a healthier idea since we’re all working at desks dirtier than toilets.
These written email conversations should adhere to many of the same guidelines as verbal office talk, according to Fast Company, and certain phrases should be avoided at all costs.” The website polled HR professionals across several different industries to compile a list of the most common phrases people use that make them look unprofessional in the eyes of coworkers and management.
These unprofessional phrases include “Just a heads up, I’m calling in sick tomorrow,” saying a coworker “really dropped the ball” on a project, using tentative language like “does Tuesday still work for you? Maybe around 3 p.m.?” and letting out negative personal feelings like “I’m feeling,” “this place really gets me down sometimes” and “I’m open to other opportunities.”
“Emails can stick around for a long time,” the articles points out, “and you never know what might get dug up down the road.
One big takeaway from the piece involves apologizing at the office. The advice most HR professionals gave was don’t get in the habit of taking the blame. It will come back to haunt you.
“It’s important to take responsibility and apologize from time to time, but some of us do it way too often,” says Alayna Frankenberry, manager of inbound marketing for BlueSky ETO. “Women especially have been socialized to apologize, defer, and buffer their statements with phrases like, ‘Let me know if you disagree,’ and ‘This is just my opinion, but . . . ‘ Constantly apologizing and qualifying your statements like this waters down your voice and can lead to a lack of respect from colleagues.
No matter your gender, if you find yourself overusing these phrases, challenge yourself to take a more direct and concise approach.”
So avoid these phrases and never use these symbols in work emails. Save that stuff for texts or, better yet, never.
[via Fast Company]