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Are You CCing What I'm CCing?: A Guide to Work Email Etiquette

August 1, 2022

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Emails once thought of as a thing of the past, are more popular than ever in the modern workplace. This is due to the transformation of work into the digital space and email communication being the most popular form for many companies. With this in mind, having proper email etiquette is more important than ever. 

Work Email Organization

Practicing proper organization is one of the first steps in any endeavor. The average worker can spend up to 50 minutes searching for something. To ensure efficiency, organize email contacts by groups. For example, if you must send an email to a department, it is better to have the department’s emails in a list than to waste time searching for their contacts. 

Email etiquette at work also includes having a proper signature. Custom signatures display professionalism while letting the recipient know your titles and qualifications. One of the most common things is to include your professional title directly under your name. From there, list any other qualifications in descending order. Furthermore, you can conclude your signature with the location and address of your company. If you work from home, you can include your city and state. Including your city and state is helpful when communicating across different time zones while working from home. 

Including the Proper Recipients

Between the to, cc, and bcc columns, knowing which recipient to put where can be confusing. The “to” column sends the email to the direct correspondent. For example, when exchanging short emails with your coworkers, you can simply use the “to” column and nothing more. 

The “cc” column is ideal when communicating less directly. This means coworkers can view the emails but may not feel as obliged to respond. On the other hand, if you want to communicate with an entire team and expect responses, include all their emails in the “to” column. Finally, the “bcc” column (blind carbon copy) allows you to include a recipient secretly. Again, this may be ideal when sending mass emails and wanting to include a boss or CEO. However, be sure you are ethically using the “bcc” and not exposing anything to somebody who should not see it. 

Work Emails as Primary Communication 

In the digital workspace, without face-to-face interaction, emails are used instead. The good thing about emails is that they do not require instant and direct interaction. This is ideal when working on multiple tasks at once. For example, you can communicate to your colleagues' ideas that pop into your head about a project that is entirely unrelated to the one you are currently working on. 

 Tips on Work Emails

Always remember that emails are a form of communication that does not require instant responses. If you have too many things on your plate, take a few hours before responding to all your emails. Alternatively, if your work allows it, set beside a time of your day to respond to your work emails. After that, focus on the tasks that you have scheduled. For more tips on work emails, visit the American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP).


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