10 Emails You Should Never
permission from the HP Small Business Center
Here’s a scenario
most of us are familiar with, whether first-hand or as a
witness to a colleague’s faux pas: an email with a crude
joke or a funny picture that crosses into the personal-email
realm is sent to a cluster of friendly internal contacts and
accidentally included on the recipients’ list is the company
CEO. Embarrassing for the sender? Yes. Grounds for
What can prove far
more detrimental to your career, however, is the way you
compose your everyday emails. We often treat email
communication in the same casual manner as we do informal
telephone conversations, and it’s all too easy to forget
that there’s a flawless digital record of what’s been
conversations, emails can be forwarded to the wrong people.
Likewise, if a message is written in a hurry, it can end up
sloppy or leave itself open to misinterpretation and, as a
result, it can have nasty repercussions. It’s always better
to think before you send.
enabled devices such as the Palm® smartphone and HP notebook
also allow you to send emails from anywhere these days too,
but it’s important to train yourself to send in “work mode”.
Next time you reach for your smartphone, remember that
you’re representing yourself and your company, no matter
where you are.
mistakes that could cost your job:
after happy hour
Company happy hour after work? It’s probably best to
save the Palm responses for the next day and not to
respond to emails from home after a night out.
Email is not a good medium to convey the intricacies of
sarcasm, and often it can be taken out of context — with
Always better to separate business and pleasure — and
using company resources for personal matters is
generally a bad idea.
If it’s a small thing, say it over the phone; otherwise
it looks too official and can cause unnecessary worry.
If it’s really bad, discuss it in person.
remarks and gossip
It’s very easy to treat email like water cooler
conversation, but these emails can have a tendency to
It’s easy to fire off an angry response without
thinking, but not always easy to retract it. Best to put
a delay on your email if possible, or wait a day before
you respond if you’re really that upset.
Most people just don’t do it, but for the few who do —
it’s a terrible idea; swearing has no place in work
This one may well get you sued as well as sacked. Most
companies have a confidentiality agreement you sign at
the beginning of your employment that would be violated
in this case.
It’s best to avoid this in your everyday speech, as well
as your work emails. Like the above, most people sign a
zero-tolerance agreement which would be violated and
such violations are grounds for termination.
Even if it’s sent from your Palm while you’re at the
beach, remember that your image is on the line.
Last but not least, if you work in government or other
offices of interest to the general public, be extra
cautious. Very abundant in the news are email leaks that get
government and other official people in serious trouble.