Importance of email communication at workplace

The management of people and information is the key to creating and maintaining a successful business in today’s market. The Internet provides access to the world without the expense and inconvenience of travel. The click of a mouse replaces the hassle of coordinating face-to-face meetings and productivity supersedes indecision. As with most technological improvements, however, there are myriad ways that e-mail and the Internet create problems in the workplace.

E-mail is a convenient communication method that helps instantaneously deliver messages between computers. Paper correspondence is no longer required to transmit documents and other important information. Companies exhibit increased productivity and profitability by reducing the time and money spent on correspondence. Unfortunately, they also frequently exhibit a lack of attention to exactly who has access to certain information, and to whom such information is being transmitted. The possibility for abuse of e-mail and the Internet in the workplace is great. Estimates show that workers with on-line access spend five to ten hours per week searching the World Wide Web for non-work-related sites or sending e-mails of a personal nature. Ironically, while e-mail has the potential to increase productivity, the most prevalent problem related to its use is the reduction of productivity.


Below are the Q-A sessions in Rediff chat answered by Amit Bansal, the founder and CEO of PurpleLeap.

raghu asked, Is it required to put “Dear Sir” in the beginning of regular bosses on daily basis and putting “Regards” and “my name” at the end in regular e mail communication?
Amit Bansal answers, The first conversation over an email in the day must have a salutation and signature. Chain mails all through the day need not have salutations and signatures.

raghu asked, When i send an e mail, my boss says why don’t you speak over phone? when i speak to him, he says why don’t you send an e-mail instead of speaking informally over phone? how to understand this?
Amit Bansal answers, Do both 🙂

arpita asked, Good afternoon Amit, Can you please let me know if it is okay to send mails to clients with smilies in them??
Amit Bansal answers, Not really Arpita. Keep it formal.

Manmeet asked, How long the Signature should be? What impact a tag line make on reader?
Amit Bansal answers, Signature is to help the reader identify you if need be. Therefore your phone number, department, location etc is important. A tag line really has no impact at all.

Amit Bansal answers, Font should not be less than 11 and more than 14. Font styles should be kept formal like verdana, ariel etc. And if the email has a lot of information instead of writing paragraphs try using bullet points.

venkat asked, while corresponding with customers on official matters we normally write the customer’s address,attn,subject ,dear sir and then start colleague says that in email we should straight away go to subject after greetings. ie no address, attn,dear sir ,sub etc. comments pl.
Amit Bansal answers, That is correct. You use the address, attn etc on letters. On emails you can start the email after the salutation or greeting.

asha asked, sir, kindly let me know what etiquitte to be followed while getting approvals from management level.
Amit Bansal answers, Provide all relevant data required for approvals, use a polite tone and keep the email to the point. If it’s a complaint make sure you also offer your idea to solve a particular problem rather than just focusing on the problem.

Manmeet asked, How to make my subordinates habitual on reporting their work status by email? Many times it is informal.
Amit Bansal answers, Make it a daily task report. You can add that as a KRA as well. In a lot of organizations this is a mandatory process.

saras asked, hi amit, tell me what you call people who sit next to you, but keep shooting emails?
Amit Bansal answers, It’s absolutely fine to do so. In fact along with the email there should also be a word across the cubicles. But its absolutely fine to write emails across cubicles.

raghu asked, Even for leave request, people have started sending request through mail while leaving office by which the employees are avoiding facing their boss face to face. The bosses are sometimes helpless except sanctioning their leave. The employee in such a way can claim that he had informed about his leave in advance. How to tackle this?
Amit Bansal answers, The idea is to ensure a leave request is documented. I am not sure why it is difficult to approve a leave on emails. It saves a lot of time and effort required to ask and approve or disapprove a leave request. Why would facing a boss make any difference in getting an approval or disapproval?

gaurav asked, hi amit…can u describe email etiquette in detail? Also what are the key points to make a mail effective especially when you are writing your concerns to your manager?
Amit Bansal answers, I suggest you read some internet resources for email etiquette. However, when you are writing emails to your manager you must come straight to the point and along with the questions offer your ideas to arrive at a solution. Also, ensure the email is polite and has appropriate data to support your point of view.

George asked, Is there timeline for replying official emails
Amit Bansal answers, Yes. An email should be replied within an hour of it’s arrival in your inbox unless the subject of the email requires some research. Even in that case, you must reply and inform the sender how soon you can get back with the information asked.

3012 asked, How to take Top Management in Loop on important Issues on organisational goals like statutory and Legal Compliances which otherwise take a back seat in scheme of things ?????
Amit Bansal answers, Well keep sending them information emails regularly about it.

MITESH asked, When to Use Bcc
Amit Bansal answers, In official communication within the organization you never use BCC. However certain emails like public announcements, emails to vendors etc can be sent through BCC.

dharmendra asked, Hi Amit, I am working in a production support S/W project.every day i have to communicate to client with mail.Is there any book on effective mail wrting.
Amit Bansal answers, There are a lot of resources on the internet about email etiquette. Read it and try to match it to your organizations working style.

raghu asked, Now a days i feel that because of e mail communication, the people tendency has changed to writing mails. this is effecting real conversation that needs to be taken place and one to one communication has taken back seat. how to avoid this?
Amit Bansal answers, Well at workplace all official communication should be documented over emails. It’s imperative because if you want to retrieve any data later its always easier to retrieve an email rather than identifying the date and time and the coffee machine next to which you talked about a matter. However, in no way brainstorming and regular discussions among teams should be given a back seat.

Paritybit asked, Is it a good idea to review to/cc list on every mail sent when you are replying to a official mail chain. Will the people who get dropped will fell offended?
Amit Bansal answers, Well, if its a chain email and you have not started it, ideally include all the people who are a part of the conversation already. If you are the one who started the initial conversation include only the people who need to take a decision and need to be informed.

yogesh asked, Hi Amit,I often see many mails being marked to your senior without any purpose.The only objective behind this could be to prove that the concerned is really active in his to stop this?
Amit Bansal answers, I think at times such cc emails are good so that the seniors are in loop about the situations and what people are doing. If you are getting these emails you can create rules in your outlook and keep them away for now and read them later.

dharmendra asked, what is mean of Not follow email etiquette
Amit Bansal answers, You must avoid ‘not to follow’ emails. I used double negatives. However what I wanted to say was…always follow email etiquette.

NANDITA asked, Gd day Sir. I woudl like to know an ideal salutation when addressing team members, which include seniors and juniors.
Amit Bansal answers, Dear team or Hi team is appropriate.

Ruby asked, Hi Amit, do you think it is okay to be informal while sending official mails? sometimes we are sending to our colleagues to whom you speak to informally otherwise or to clients to whom also we have a rapport with. Is it necessary to always maintain a formal approach while writing official mails?
Amit Bansal answers, A good way to check if you have written an email in the right tone is to re-read the email and ask yourself, if this person was in-front of me, which way would have made him comfortable to talk to you. That’s the right tone for your emails too. However, be careful about being overly informal.

shekar asked, In email is it good use he/she or names
Amit Bansal answers, You must always use names. In case you do not know names, its a good idea to use Sir/ ma’am.

Amit Bansal answers, I suggest you check with your IT department. It can be different for different email clients.

sunita asked, Hi Amit, I often gets confused on who to CC and who not to. Is there any rule as to make it simple?
Amit Bansal answers, CC is only for people who need to be kept informed about a communication. They should not be expected to respond on that email.

assd asked, Usually old bosses don’t prefer any communication on email, they feel offended as if email is a complaint or proof maintaned by Subordinate
Amit Bansal answers, Its high time people learned the importance of emails. I can understand some people looking at emails as threat. Well for them maybe a few lines of appreciation over email will do the trick. Once a habit is formed everything will be fine. It’s important to understand the importance and benefits of writing emails.

Raj asked, Hi Amit, how would you define email etiquette? Are there rights and wrongs while sending a mail?
Amit Bansal answers, Like any other etiquette, these are do’s and don’ts of writing emails. For example, pay attention to the ‘to’ and ‘cc’ fields. People marked in the cc field are only to be kept in loop. They are not required to respond to the email neither should be expected to. A subject line should not be more than 5 to 7 words briefly telling what is contained in the email. Similarly there are certain things about the salutations, sign offs and signatures that fall in the purview of email etiquette.

aman asked, amit sir…how to improve email communication?
Amit Bansal answers, You can improve your email communication by practicing email etiquette and making them as good as one on one conversations. Keeping in mind the audience and the subject that needs to be addressed.

SarZ asked, So how important is the tone of communication in emails?
Amit Bansal answers, Tone on emails is very important. It’s as important as talking to someone one on one. At a lot of occasions you can be misunderstood based on the tone of your emails.

emailmama asked, What are the five things one must avoid while writing an email
Amit Bansal answers, Broadly, you must avoid the following things while writing emails: 1. Spelling errors. 2. Using long and complicated sentences and words. 3. Not follow email etiquette 4. Not paying attention to the ‘to’ and ‘cc’ lists. 5. Giving incomplete information and not using appropriate tone.


Rediff Chat Date: November 2, 2011




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