Lack of e-mail etiquette is bad for business

Beware, sloppy e-mail technique can actually slow down the decision making process and reflect badly on your business, according to a new survey conducted on behalf of handheld maker palmOne.

The poll, which included 750 workers from across Europe, identified seven key areas of concern, these included ignoring the e-mail, send-to-all, tactlessness, sloppiness, lying about getting an e-mail, waffling and assuming that once sent, an e-mail has been read.

Nearly 80 per cent of those surveyed resented having to chase up e-mail responses, and over 60 per cent felt that this delayed business decisions.

Badly written e-mails also proved extremely unpopular, with 81 per cent of respondents reporting that badly spelled, or badly punctuated e-mails reflected poorly on the sender.

Psychologist Dr Peter Collett, says the problems arise because e-mail lacks the established social conventions of other forms of communication, like phone calls or meetings.

He told CNN "Such is the pervasiveness of e-mail that an increasingly high percentage of people, particularly in the business environment, only know us through this medium. What people forget is that e-mail is no different from face-to-face interactions - first impressions count."

He argues that people base their opinions of each other on tiny, often irrelevant seeming pieces of information. Once a certain impression is formed, it is hard to change.

"If you use sloppy grammar, inappropriate tone or, most importantly, fail to reply, you risk damaging relationships extremely quickly - on many occasions without even realising you're doing so," he said.

Sources: The Register

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