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Workplace Etiquette: Email Communication

This guide will help you to understand and thrive in the workplace

Email tips

Thomson Reuters Compliance Learning (WeComply) 2012, Emails: Before You Hit “Send”, YouTube, REFINITIVviewed 18 March 2021. Copied and communicated under YouTube Standard License.

Reply promptly

Acknowledge emails and reply in a timely manner. Even if you can't answer everything in an email it is better to respond and let the person know. If possible, give them a timeframe so they known when to expect the information. 

If you're away from the office for an extended period of time, set up an Out of Office alert. 



Emails are never completely confidential. Your email can easily be forwarded or other people can be copied or blind copied into an email when a recipient responds to your email. If there is a sensitive issue or misunderstanding, see the person face-to-face or talk to them over the phone. 

8-step guide to writing professional emails

8-step guide to writing emails in a professional manner
1. Use a professional email address 5. Be clear, polite, and brief
2. Add recipients 6. Check attachments
3. Write a clear subject line 7. Include a closing/sign off
4. Include a salutation/greeting  8. Proofread 

You've probably all written an email before! However, it's important to know the differences between a formal and informal email. Many workplaces rely on email communication so it's important you know ho to be professional and can adapt to the level of formality required. 

Have a look at the below examples and see if you can identify the 8 steps.


Two examples of an email. The first example does not follow any of the 8 steps, the second example does.

Use these sparingly!


CC: (carbon copy)
person who needs to know the information but doesn't necessarily need to reply

BCC: (blind carbon copy)
person who needs to know the information but you don't want others to know they have received it

Reply to all & Forward