One of the most integral parts of the workplace is communication. Without emails, phone calls and memos nothing would ever happen and much would get lost in translation. Sending emails and phoning your colleagues can save you a lot of time, but it must be done with professional etiquette to ensure that there are no opportunities for misinformation or misunderstandings to occur. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind when communicating in the workplace.

Always return calls and emails within 24 hours.  You do not necessarily have to give the individual the information that they are looking for, but you need to at least let them know that you have received their message and will attend to it as soon as possible. Letting an email or phone call stay unreturned is often taken to mean that you do not respect that person and their concerns are unimportant to you.


It is not uncommon for a phone conversation to involve more than the people actually on the line, but conference call is not always available. One option here is to gather as many people on both sides of the conversation and put the call on speaker phone. However, professional etiquette indicates that it would be impolite to do so without notifying the other party. They may have things that they would like to say for your ears only.


It may happen that you are busy attending to some other important business when you receive a phone call and it goes to voice mail. Professional etiquette dictates that a personalised voice mail message is far better than the automated phone number recital that is the default of most mail boxes. The personalised message lets the caller know they have reached the right number and that you do consider them important. It encourages the individual to leave a message rather than just trying again later.


Emails should always be formatted correctly. Professional etiquette requires that you spell and grammar check your emails before sending them. This shows that you consider the email important enough to spend time on. Spelling mistakes and grammar errors are demonstrative of haste and may show that you do not think the matter is important enough to warrant the time.


If you keep to these few simple professional etiquette rules, you will find that people soon begin to treat you with similar respect and things will run far more smoothly.