office email etiquetteDon’t hit send just yet on that email. Many of us connect with our coworkers and higher-ups through email more than we actually speak to them face-to-face. We communicate with our colleagues almost exclusively over chat and email. This can create huge potential for misunderstandings given the lack of verbal cues in writing. However, there are some huge cues for office etiquette below that you should follow.

Unless your workplace is very relaxed about absences, writing that you are under the weather can be almost as nauseating as the actual sickness. None of us want to have people at the office thinking we are slacking. Brevity is key in that email, your boss does not want to hear about your exploding diarrhea. Here is a simple template to use: “Hello [Boss], I will not be in the office today, as I am not feeling well. Should you need to reach me for anything, please feel free to call me at [phone number] or email me. I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you.”

Setting up a meeting with busy higher-ups can be tricky. Before the meeting invite goes out send a brief email explaining who you are, who requested her presence at the meeting, the meeting’s expectations and urgency and maybe even projected length of the meeting before you send out the invite. Don’t just appear on someone’s calendar and expect him or her to show up.

If you are running late to work, you need to let your office know why you are MIA. Don’t over apologize or harp on the issue but rather keep your email short. If you are late to a meeting that it is required for you to be at, try calling in from your commute or emailing the meeting organizer to arrange another time.

If you ever accidentally replied all or been part of an inappropriate email chain you know shame on a whole new level. Saving face is as easy as sending a swift and brief apology. Try to take ownership for your actions to help defuse a situation rather than waiting for a response from your boss. To avoid these in the future, write emails without inputting the addresses, proofread and then add the recipient.

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Sarah is a freelance writer with a wide variety of interests, including international relations, politics, education, humanitarianism, women's rights, yoga, mental and physical health, and natural remedies.