Workplace correspondence is performed in a variety of ways and mediums. Since many of you will someday graduate and enter the workforce, it's important to learn how to communicate professionally in every aspect of your job. Workplace correspondence can consist of email, online chats, text messages, memos, letters, video-chats, telephone calls, and teleconferencing. Knowing how to communicate effectively can make an employee a valued company asset.
Rules of etiquette must be followed for each variety of communication. Emails must be professional in tone and layout. The subject line of the email must be clear and concise. When sending, include only those readers that should get the email. Business emails should be to-the-point with short paragraphs. Lists with numbers or bullet points are appropriate. The salutation should include Dear____, and the closing should be professional. Using Sincerely or With Regard is acceptable. Edit each section of the email before sending. Sending a flawed email can be embarrassing and will be a poor reflection on the sender.
Online chats and text messaging for business purposes should also be regarded as professional. Do not use e-slang or abbreviate words under business conditions; always remain businesslike. All business telephone calls should be professional in tone. Even if the persons speaking are familiar with one another, others could be listening and anything said that is off-color could cause the speaker problems. Teleconferencing is a productive use of business time. These calls can involve many persons. Allowing each speaker time to talk and to be heard is an important aspect of this kind of business communication. Professional language should always be used. If video or real-time visuals are used during the teleconference or if one is involved in a video-chat in a business setting, he or she must remember to also be cognizant of their physical appearance. Making faces at the speakers will not win one a promotion!
Writing memorandum or memo is sometimes a necessary communication task in a business office. A memo can be created on paper or electronically in an email. Memos can vary in length depending on the subject matter.
The top of the memo should include:
Date: To: From:
Proper salutations and closings should be used. If a memo is confidential, it should be created on paper and only provided to those who must read it. Remember, the memo may become part of the company archives.
Business letters have a definite format. The writer’s name, address, and date head the letter. The recipient’s name, address, and website should be included flush left on the document. The recipient’s title, if short, should be separated from the name with a comma. If the title is lengthy, it should be placed on the next line. The salutation should be Mr., Mrs., Miss, etc. or Dear ___ if that is appropriate. The body of the letter is single-spaced, but double-spacing is necessary between paragraphs. Closings should be formal, for example: Yours Truly or Sincerely. The writer’s signature should be written out and typed.
At the bottom of the document, after the signature and typed name, the writer’s initials, enclosures, and any copy recipients should be listed:
CC: BC: Encl:
When writing and communicating in the workplace, one must remain professional at all times. Knowing how to communicate properly in a business setting is the first step in communicating professionally. A well-written memo or business letter will be appreciated and valued by business leaders. Knowing how to communicate effectively can make an employee a valued company asset.
Article written by Beth Calvano