Practical Business Writing Tips for Office Managers

February 19, 2024


Professional concentrating on important business writing tasks.

Office managers bridge the gap between leadership and staff, ensuring everyone is on the same page regarding organizational guidelines. Clear communication is crucial in the role, as office managers frequently need to articulate complex policies in a concise manner. 

Whether emailing, preparing formal documents, or creating policy and instruction guides for new hires, strong writing skills are essential in promoting a cohesive and efficient work environment. These simple strategies can help facilitate clear communication, collaboration, and trust among various stakeholders.

The Importance of Business Writing Skills

Email inbox overload is no joke. The average email user receives over 80 emails each day (not including spam), and office managers are far from average. In a work environment that noisy, it’s easy for things like office policy and procedureinitiatives office managers are frequently leadingto get relegated to the bottom of the priority list. 

But how can office managers make sure their messages cut through the noise? Let’s review a few ways to improve professionally written emails, formal documents, and guides.

Effective Email Etiquette 

Office managers spend a lot of time in their email inboxes since it’s one of the main communication channels in every business setting. We rounded up three simple pointers for better email writing.

1. Use concise, straightforward subject lines. The faster the person receiving the email knows what it’s about and what action they need to take, the better. Consider these subject line templates for emails you regularly send:

  • Please Review: Policy Updates

  • Upcoming Team Meeting: Quarterly Analytics 

  • Reminder: Complete Your Performance Evaluation by EOW

  • Action Required: Change Your Email Password

  • RSVP: Webinar on Client-Relationship Strategies 

2. Always start emails with proper salutations and end with appropriate closings. It may sound simple, but it sets the tone for how the person reads and their sense of urgency when responding to your email. 

Salutation Examples:

  • Hi [First Name],

  • Hi there,

  • Hey Team,

  • Hello Mrs./Mr. [Last Name],

  • To Whom It May Concern, 

Closing Examples:

  • Thank you,

  • Respectfully,

  • Sincerely,

  • Warm regards,

  • Best,

3. Write in a professional tone and use proper language. With the rise of slang and abbreviations in everyday speech, it’s easy to default to those standards. However, keeping your communication formal ensures it carries more weight and keeps employees’ attention — guaranteeing your message is heard loud and clear. So, consider these email tone tips:

  • Avoid slang and overly casual language.

  • Smiley faces and emoticons should be reserved for less formal email occasions if they are used at all. 

  • Maintain a courteous and respectful tone in all communications.

  • Choose words carefully to convey authority without being overly formal.

  • Keep in mind the recipient's perspective to ensure your tone is appropriate.

  • Always proofread for clarity and tone before hitting send. Sometimes reading aloud is the best way to catch mistakes. 

Formal Document Writing Considerations

When office managers create formal documents, like reports, meeting agendas, and contracts, they should consider these things to be certain their message is understood:

1. Clarity and organization of content. Write the documents as clearly as possible and make sure the information is presented in a logical order. It can help to get feedback from the intended audience and ask what questions they have after reading the document before finalizing. 

2. Consistent formatting and style. Constant changes in format and style can distract from the message in professional documents. If your company doesn’t already have a brand guide and brand standards, it’s a good idea to create one so that preferred font faces, brand words, acronyms, and formatting choices are defined and easy to reference.

3. Attention to detail and accuracy. While most word processing programs have grammar and spell check, we all know how nuanced the English language is, which means sometimes mistakes are missed. Consider using a tool like Grammarly as an additional check, and try reading documents aloud as a final step in editing for accuracy, as this trick helps your brain catch errors.

How to Effectively Write Policies and Instructions

These written pieces are typically long and full of important information that impacts an office’s daily operations, and they have to be written in a way that is easily understood. Three tips to do so:

1. Simplify complex information. It’s one thing to write in a professional tone, it’s another to overcomplicate something with too much industry jargon. Be sure to break down complicated information into smaller, digestible chunks so it’s clearly understood. 

2. Use bullet points or numbered lists for clarity. Reading walls of text is intimidating. Break up sections with bullet points and numbered lists, when appropriate, to help readers avoid fatigue.

3. Create an index and/or glossary. Some documents have to be long and there is no way to make them more concise. In this case, an index and glossary can help readers locate the information they’re looking for faster. If the document is digital, be sure to link the sections to the index and glossary for a better reading experience!

Key Takeaways

  • Master email etiquette by using concise subject lines, starting and ending with proper salutations and closings, and maintaining a professional tone

  • Craft clear formal documents by ensuring clarity and organization, maintaining consistent formatting and style, and paying attention to detail and accuracy

  • Write effective policy and instruction guides by simplifying complex information, utilizing bullet points or numbered lists, and including an index and/or glossary for longer documents

Next, Read How to Level Up Your Work With Written Communication Skills

Read More

Join the Conversation

Welcome to the ASAP Circle, a community platform for peer-to-peer conversation on trending topics, professional challenges, and shared experiences. We even have designated spaces for weekly Tuesday Coffee Breaks.

Start Connecting Today!

American Society of Administrative Professionals

Producer of

APC  EA Ignite