LIFESTYLE
08/01/2020 3:54 PM IST

The 12 Biggest Work Email Faux Pas, From Kisses At The End To Excessive Exclamation Marks

Emojis, cliché openings and typos are also no-nos.

Tetiana Lazunova via Getty Images

You might send dozens of them a day, but it turns out there’s a fine art to firing off the perfect work email – and it almost never involves kisses. 

In a survey of almost 2,000 people, conducted by employee experience platform Perkbox, 65% said signing off an email with an “x” is one of the biggest faux pas. 

Other unpopular habits include using capital letters FOR WHOLE WORDS OR SENTENCES, cc’ing people who don’t need to be cc’d, and using slang words like OMG.

Something that divides the crowds, though, is exclamation marks. Using too many irritates just over half (52%) of workers – but how many is too many? A strict 16% think it’s never acceptable to use an exclamation mark, while 48% think using one is acceptable. Just 24% of people would stretch to two!

The 12 biggest email faux-pas: 

  1. Using capital letters for whole words or sentences – 67%

  2. Using kisses or ‘x’ – 65%

  3. CC’ing people who don’t need to be involved – 63%

  4. Using slang, eg ‘OMG’ – 53%

  5. Using too many exclamation marks – 52%

  6. Sending an email without proofreading – 50%

  7. Sending very long emails – 29%

  8. Using emojis – 29%

  9. Not having an email signature – 23%

  10. Double emailing – 22%

  11. Using smiley faces – 22%

  12. Using coloured fonts – 21%

The survey also asked respondents about the most annoying email clichés. Thankfully, the old favourite “hope you are well” is safe, with just 6% finding it annoying.

You may want to rethink your style if you regularly use “just looping in...”, though.  

The most annoying email clichés:

  1. ‘Just looping in...’ – 37%

  2. ‘As per my last email’ – 33%

  3. ‘Any updates on this?’ – 24%

  4. ‘Just checking in’ – 19%

  5. ‘Confirming receipt’ / ‘confirming that I have received this’ – 16%

  6. ‘Per our conversation’ – 15%

  7. ‘Please advise’ – 8%

  8. ‘Thanks in advance’ – 7%

  9. ‘Hope you’re well’ – 6%

Considering kisses are off the cards, it’s unsurprising that “love” was voted the worst way to sign off a work email. After all, you’re not sending a note to your grandma.

But there’s a balance to be struck: give your colleagues too little thought with no sign off and you’ll also be judged. If you’re looking for a safe bet, stick with “all the best” which annoys just 9% of workers – why, we do not know. 

Top 10 worst email sign offs:

  1. Love – 57%

  2. No sign off – 44%

  3. Warmly – 31%

  4. Cheers – 26%

  5. Yours truly – 24%

  6. Yours faithfully – 18%

  7. Talk soon – 14%

  8. Sincerely – 12%

  9. Best – 12%

  10. All the best – 9%