Tips for Writing a Work Email

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Published: 28 May 2017      

Communication is key in the workplace, particularly in the medical industry as you need to master a variety of verbal and written techniques to ensure instructions are understood and everybody remains on the same page when it comes to the treatment provided to patients.

Many underestimate the importance of the simple work email, both in terms of its use for delivering key instructions and in how people can interpret different messages. Here we have compiled a few tips that will ensure you get the most out of every email that you send.

Keep Your Focus

While you can write paragraphs of content in an email, it is generally best to keep things short and sweet by maintaining focus and getting your message across as quickly as possible. Remember that your recipient likely has plenty of other emails to get through and a whole slew of tasks to complete before the end of the work day, so a super long email will not only delay all of that but may lead to the sort of resentment that slows down the entire communication process. Understand what you want to get across before you start typing.

Give it a Read

Always check your emails before sending them across, as typos and other mistakes can lead to you looking less professional in the eyes of the person you’re sending to. This is particularly important when sending emails to senior management, patients, or customers, as in these instances you are essentially a representative of the company and should act accordingly. Proofreading is perhaps not quite so important when shooting quick messages between colleagues who are already familiar with one another.

The Subject Line

You have a subject line for your emails so use it to show the recipient how important the message actually is. If it needs to be read immediately, mark the email as “URGENT” in the subject line. Of course, overuse of that when urgency is not a factor can be a problem. The simple advice is to use your subject line to get across the point of the email quickly while providing enough specifics about the content of the email to let the recipient know that it needs to be opened.

Be Polite

Nobody likes having demands thrown at them, and this feeling only exacerbates when people get demanding over email. If you need to ask for something, maintain a polite, yet firm, tone with your email. Barking orders at somebody may lead to the email getting ignored and will almost certainly lead to you developing a bit of a reputation around the workplace.

Security

Email is not a secure communication channel, so you need to be careful with what you send over email to others. While keeping sensitive documents in mind is important, also remember that every email you send is a written record of the things you claim. As such, if you’ve been stretching the truth, downplaying an issue, or acting unprofessionally when contacting a colleague, you are creating written evidence. The best advice is to not act in this way at all.

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