Tag Archives: etiquette

Going to be away from the office? Do it in good taste.

20 Apr 16
lverbik
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You’re productive and you like to receive replies promptly to your emails when engaging in business. No one has time to mess around. So when the weather warms up, with it comes the inevitable surge in out-of-office replies. This can be frustrating for your customers and downright bad business if you don’t handle it properly.

Going into this busy season of absent employees, it’s a good time to look at the right ways and the wrong ways to inform the world—and your coworkers—that you’re away from your desk and vacationing your cares away. There is an etiquette around this seemingly trivial aspect of email. Here are some tips:

  • Create calendar update. Make sure that you update your Outlook calendar to reflect the dates you will be away. Set an Out of Office status and a standing Appointment for those days that you are going to be absent so that coworkers can see your calendar and schedule meetings appropriately, knowing when you are and are not available.
  • Don’t blanket the company with your out of office reminders. Send The Outlook appointment containing your Out of Office status only to the people who will truly be impacted by your absence—your manager(s) and those you work with regularly. There’s nothing more annoying than getting daily out of office reminders, so make sure to turn that off.
  • Prepare your auto responder message. In Outlook, go to Tools, and then Out of Office. Fill in your message, as well as dates and times you will be away. There are also Address book rules that should be set so that you choose who receives your notification. For example, you do not want your Out of Office email to go to external parties, which would include spammers. For security reasons keep it internal.
  • Provide some pertinent details. You’ll want to include the dates you’ll be away, and when you will return. Also mention when you will be able to reply to their message. You may be able to check emails once a day or once a week while away, so let them know, but do not over promise on this point. The fact is that you may not be able to keep your promise so it may be in your best interest to include a name and contact information of a colleague who will stand in for you in your absence.
  • Keep the details to business. Nobody wants or needs to know what you’re doing on your vacation so don’t be a braggart and assume people want to hear about your lobster dinners or parasailing adventures. Just the simple stuff from point 4 above is all you need.

We’re happy to help you find better more advantageous ways to use IT in your daily business. Contact TechnoAdvantage today for help using Outlook or other ideas to make your company run more smoothly.

Four Rules of Email Etiquette Can Save Your Reputation

25 Nov 15
lverbik
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You may not think of email as having such power, but just as a great email can bring in the business—so these email mistakes can drive customers away and ruin your reputation. And pretty quickly too, if they’re repeated on a consistent basis.  What business technology can do for you can be rapidly undone if you or your employees ignore these four simple rules of email etiquette:

  1. Always use proper spelling and grammar

You would be surprised at the amount of emails that get sent with misspellings, typos and poor grammar. Now, not everyone is a great writer, but there is a fundamental professional standard you should meet that involves using spell-check on every single business email you write. Send enough poorly written emails and the unspoken message you are sending your customers is that you are unprofessional, you don’t care about details, you’re not a quality company—or worse, you’re not even legit. Spelling matters!

  1. Be careful who you CC

We all use group email to keep the team looped in. But this practice can go horribly wrong when you hit the reply button carelessly. If you’re not alert, you may “reply all” when in fact you don’t want specific team members to receive the email. Or how about forwarding or replying and you’ve written something negative about someone on the email thread?  Get out of the habit of thoughtlessly hitting “reply all”—and make it your habit to select recipients one by one every time before you hit “send.” (And, p.s. it is a good practice to NEVER write a negative email. They never disappear and may end up being forwarded and causing harm.)

  1. Don’t be in a hurry when emailing

Emails written in a hurry are obvious to the recipient. Some of the things that can go wrong with them are: unfinished emails sent, typos, incorrect information.  Then you’re forced to send an awkward follow-up email where you have to explain your mistake. Very unprofessional! Moral: Slow down and give your full attention to each email you compose. People know when you’ve rushed through and it sends the message to them that they are unimportant to you. No matter how short the email or seemingly trivial, take your time to honor your recipient and get it right.

  1. Double-check the recipient before you hit “send”

This is another frequent blunder that happens when we get in a hurry and go on autopilot. The culprit is the autofill function. You think you’ve typed in someone’s name and unbeknownst to you, autofill has populated the “to” line with a different person of similar name or address from your contacts and you’ve hit send. This kind of error can be anywhere from embarrassing to downright dangerous, depending on the type of information you are sending out, e.g. confidential corporate info.

These rules of email etiquette are important enough to share with your employees as we all take on the role of representing our employers. Your reputation is at stake and no matter what you email or whom you email, take time, slow down, give it your best, and make sure it’s right before you hit send.  If you have any tips to add to this list, comment below! For more ideas, contact Techno Advantage today!