In business and the corporate world, maintaining a professional image is important for keeping your customers’ trust and appearing credible online. Email etiquette helps streamline communication. Make your requests and information clear and concise, but give enough information so that your recipient understands what your message indicates. With the endless emails we receive every day, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could keep up professional email habits at all times. While mastering the art of good email etiquette doesn’t mean sending out beautifully crafted prose each time, that would take forever, if you can avoid these bad habits, you’ll be off to a great start. Overly informal greetings and criticism “Hey” or “hi”, for instance, is much too casual for the workplace. When in doubt, shoot for more formal than less, because the email recipient can always adjust the tone as he or she sees fit. “Hey” is a very informal salutation, and generally it should not be used in the workplace. Use “Hello” instead. Never criticise or call out another person in email, especially when it’s a group email. Sensitive situations are most often better handled in person, unless you feel you need an electronic record of the communication. If that’s the case, you can always send a follow up email reiterating what was discussed Inappropriate jokes We all appreciate a sense of humour at work, but remember that emails leave a lot of room for misinterpretation. What you’re trying to say may not come across—and instead come off as unprofessional. More so, don’t write anything derogatory against a person’s religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation as this can get you into legal trouble. Spelling and grammar mistakes It takes maybe 30 extra seconds to do a quick scan over your email message before sending it. Your mistakes, no matter how small, will be noted by whomever is on the other end. Also, you shouldn’t be sending chain emails in general, especially not over your work email. Sending incomplete messages There is nothing worse than sending an incomplete email, or to someone you didn’t intend to. So, the best solution is to simply strip away that option. Add the recipient’s email address right at the end in order to ensure that you’ve had time to compose a stellar email before sending into the pixelated abyss. Petty gossip Gossip at work, whether in person or via email, is not only unprofessional, it could get you fired. Sharing petty gossip is a pretty common human instinct, but it’s not one you should be acting upon in the office. Sharing it over email is an even worse idea because you never know where the email will end up, and when it’s traced back to you, it will make you look petty and unprofessional.