email and chat etiquette

Mastering Email and Chat Etiquette for a Productive Workday

Corporate communications are a source of confusion and frustration for many. Workers at every level often feel they’re drowning in unnecessary emails, meetings, and other forms of managerial bloat.

We live in a world of enormous variety, where diversity is celebrated. But if there are things in the modern world that are universally disliked; spam emails, and bad texters would definitely be among them.

There’s a host of unspoken rules when it comes to the art of professional communication. The golden rule of ‘keep it simple,’ is apt. These general rules of communication can act as simple guideposts to make life easier for yourself and your respective team.

When and Where to Utilize Etiquette

When executing proper email and chat etiquette, use these considerations to keep messaging professional, keep the volume down, and the value up:

Email Etiquette

Do you get hundreds of emails a day? Some of these emails are important, some are funny, some are educational, and others are just coworkers checking in to see how you’re doing.

Below are some helpful tips for keeping your emails professional and your team members’ inboxes not-too-full:

Use “Reply All” Sparingly

Only use “Reply All” when everyone on the chain needs to see your response.

Only Copy Required Parties

You don’t want to flood people’s inboxes with information that doesn’t pertain to them.

Remove Unnecessary People from Chains

Don’t be afraid to omit someone from an email chain if you know their participation is no longer required.

Avoid Sending Thank-You Notes to All

Should you send a thank-you note to the person that sent the email? Yes! But there is no reason to send it to everyone who was copied.

Use Your Phone When It Makes Sense

When you need to get information to someone quickly and efficiently, a phone call is still the best way. Plus, it brings a personal touch to your day.


Why is it so important to be mindful of the messages you’re sending? Here are some statistics about email management and the average American’s workday:

  • The typical office employee can send and receive up to 620 emails during a 40-hour work week.
  • An average staff member spends approximately 28% of their workday reading, sending, and responding to emails.
  •  49% of employees check their work email every few hours when off the clock. 

How should we manage the influx of these messages? One thing’s for sure – you need to find what works for you.

Everyone has their system and there is no right or wrong way. Some people can’t sign off for the day until their inbox is empty. Other people have tens of thousands of emails in their inbox, and that’s OK. Find a system that works for you and stick to it.


Chat Etiquette

There are so many chat platforms out there today. Whether your company uses Mattermost, Slack, Flock, Microsoft Teams, or any of the other apps available, the rules of communication apply broadly.

Here are some considerations for chatting with your coworkers:

Don’t Make People Guess

When starting a message, don’t type Hey, Hi, or the person’s name, and then pause before getting to the point. Share the information in the initial message. No one wants to play a guessing game.

Ghosting is a Real Thing

People can see when you’re typing and how long you’re typing. And don’t forget to hit send when done.

Spamming is Unprofessional

Don’t overdo it by firing off message after message. Give the person you’re chatting with time to respond to each question. 

Consider Your Audience

You’re speaking with your coworkers, not texting with a friend. Use complete sentences and try to portray clear and concise thoughts.

Manage Your Expectations

Not everyone is on the same level. Some people are slow to respond on chat, and everyone’s workloads are different. Be patient, and they will get back to you when they can.

Do You Need a Better Way to Communicate with Employees and Customers?

No matter your communication method, take your time and have patience and grace. When it’s necessary to use proper email and chat etiquette, write with empathy and understanding. You’re writing chats and emails to share your thoughts, after all.

The best process is to be straightforward and to the point. No matter what you’re writing, if you think someone may take it the wrong way, they most likely will. So, take a few minutes, and rework or walk away to clear your head and come back to it later.

With the amount of email and chat messages we receive daily from coworkers, it’s difficult to imagine what it would be like if we added external customer and client messaging into the mix. That’s where a call center like AnswerNet comes in. AnswerNet runs on an omnichannel platform allowing agents to answer your calls, chat messages, and emails.

Let someone handle a portion of your customer service, allowing you and your team to focus on more important things. Click here for more information on AnswerNet’s omnichannel services.