10 rules for office communication

An important question for professionals is: how to communicate with colleagues via email, SMS and/or WhatsApp?

If you’re new to the organization and haven’t interacted enough with your colleagues, these tips will help you craft your message effectively:

Be professional

Your message/letter should be written according to professional standards. If you’ve never met or interacted with the person before, stick to formal greetings and greetings. In formal email communication, the correct salutation (Hi, Hello, Honey) with the person’s first/last name (Hello Sir/Miss/Mrs Last Name), an appropriate subject line (accurate and less than 50 characters ) and a signature off message (Thank you and Sincerely, Sincerely, Thank you) is important.

This way, the recipient will know that your message is legitimate and not a scam. While you may use the words “Hi” or “Hi” in informal communication with co-workers or colleagues, avoid addressing your client, supervisor, or employer as “Hi.” It is considered inappropriate and disrespectful.

Opening and closing remarks

Always start your message with an appropriate greeting followed by an opening remark: for example: how are you? / I hope you are well / I hope your week is going well. If you are communicating for the first time, please introduce yourself. Don’t forget to end with an appropriate closing remark, for example: looking forward to meeting you, hoping for a positive response, etc.

Avoid late text messages

Working from home does not give us the freedom to leave unwanted text messages, to respond according to our comfort and convenience. If it is a commercial communication, we must send a message or letter in a timely manner. Please avoid texting your colleagues after 7 p.m. and before 9 a.m. In the event that something urgent needs to be conveyed, you should always apologize for sending an SMS late. For example: apologies for texting you so late, followed by your message.

Reread your message

It is extremely important to proofread your message before sending it. Spelling, grammar, format and consistency should be considered. If your message is not reviewed, it can lead to miscommunication and also put you in the wrong position. It is equally important to double-check the person’s email and confirm if the written content is correct before hitting send.

Avoid sending short forms

Even if you are having a casual conversation via SMS or WhatsApp, avoid saying K instead of Okay, U instead of You, Gud instead of good or even How ru? Because how are you? These boring short forms should be strictly avoided in business communication. He is considered very unprofessional.

Articulate your thoughts

Most of us communicate our point of view very effectively in person, but over text there is room for misunderstanding and confusion. Be very careful what you write in your message. Each of your points must be well articulated.

Read twice before sending your message or letter. Don’t beat around the bush and be clear and direct. People often tend to ignore very long messages in order to save time. So if it’s a long email, you can choose to highlight the important parts of the message to save time. It is always better to write a long or informative message in pointers. This helps the recipient understand the message clearly.

Schedule a call

In case there is a lot to discuss, it is always better to schedule a call in order to avoid miscommunication. Don’t engage in long unnecessary conversations if your message can be quickly and easily understood on a phone call. Even on an important call, you can record it if it’s mutually convenient or jot down relevant details so you don’t forget important points.

Automated response

There are times when we receive untimely work texts. If you are not available to communicate or respond immediately, it is best to write a message that can be sent automatically after your working hours. For example: Hello! Please contact me (your name or the name of your company), I am not available at the moment. I will get back to you within (mention time).

An automated response will help the person know about your unavailability and therefore they will try to contact you only during the hours when you are available. Simple things like these help you strengthen the bond in a professional way, especially when you’re on the go.

don’t be rude

Please avoid being rude on text messages. It doesn’t leave a good impression. Even if you disagree with something, you should be polite. People will always appreciate professionals with soft and clear language, as it cultivates a sense of mutual respect and understanding.

Deal with uncomfortable texts intelligently

When you get to know your coworkers, there may be instances where a person crosses the line and may send nasty messages on WhatsApp or social media like life quotes, morning greetings which can be very annoying. If you’re new to the organization, you can let your boss know and ask them to make a rule that irrelevant messages should be avoided, especially in workgroups. If sent to your personal chat, you can communicate your inconvenience to the person directly, but in a polite way.

(The author is an etiquette coach and founder of Let’s Be Eloquent)

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