Despite all my writing digressions in the social media world, I like written workplace documents to be straight to the point. Actually, not only written documents but verbal reports as well. They can be humorous. They can be witty. They can contain an illustrative anecdote. But they should be factual, informative, and concise. There are times when I have received 300 or more work emails in one day (that weren’t RSVPS etc). I don’t have the time. Nor do I have the patience for work communications that meander. They can be lengthy. I don’t mind a long email as long as it is long because it is providing all the necessary information to make a decision. That is actually quite excellent.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone sends an email expecting a decision yet you end up sending 20 more to get a complete picture. If you need a decision to be made, provide the why, how, when and who of the situation. Context matters. How can people not get that? What is even worse is when the subject line of the email is uninformative and completely off topic. I don’t know whether email communication is taught in schools. If not (or even so) perhaps human resources departments should take 20 minutes of onboarding (orientation) to explain review email etiquette and informative forms of communication. Those 20 minutes can go a long way towards minimizing those work correspondences that are unnecessarily 20 emails long.