Writing E-mails: A Skill Not To Ignore

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The days of shouting across the office, running down to your boss’ desk and even picking up a telephone to speak to co-workers are over. Well, almost over. It seems that e-mail and instant messaging are the communication methods of choice today. And although e-mail and instant messaging take less time than the traditional business communications of the past, the casualness of e-mail may be a problem.


A recent survey of 560 people conducted by Information Mapping Inc., a provider of information management solutions, found that 96 percent of workers waste time every day deciphering poorly written e-mails. In fact, more than half of the survey’s respondents found that e-mail content is often disorganized, wordy, hard to read, hard to find or missing altogether.


The findings of this survey show that communication, one of the most valued soft skills, needs to be improved. Because people often take less time to plan and develop e-mails than they would a formal written letter, employees need to establish a purpose, identify a desired response, clearly communicate their objectives, and organize and sequence the letter effectively. But not only should a letter be well-written, the e-mail subject line should be effectively written as well.


Furthermore, spelling and grammatical errors are all too common in the e-mail and instant messaging realms. And such errors are not only embarrassing for the writer, but for the company as well. Communicating competently and professionally is a sure way to demonstrate to your boss that you take pride in your job as well as care for the reputation for the company.


Therefore, if writing is not your forte, it may be beneficial to take a business class that focuses on communicating effectively—whether it is writing memos, e-mails, over the phone or face-to-face. If every single e-mail—no matter who the recipient might be—is well-written and grammatically correct, it will increase your productivity and make your job as well as your co-workers’ jobs easier.

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