I was recently talking with a friend about the instantaneous nature of e-mails and how unfortunate it can be sometimes. The angry e-mail you send to your ex and immediately wish you hadn’t. The forward that never should have been forwarded. But what happens when you misfire an e-mail at work? How do you save face?
After talking for almost an hour, we decided that these blunders must be handled on a case-by-case basis. And then we both agreed that no matter what, YOU MUST MAKE SURE THIS NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN.
So before you send your next e-mail, consider these warnings.
- Be careful about recounting personal details in a work e-mail. Sending a personal email during work hours is one thing, but having it fall into the wrong hands is something else entirely. So even if your writing to your colleague down the hall to tell her about your latest date, do it through your personal email and you’ll be less likely to accidentally send it to your conservative boss.
- Don’t look at content that is not suitable for work. The acronym NSFW is everywhere on Web sites now, alerting you to this very fact. Pay attention.
- Don’t complain about your boss in e-mails, especially if you know your company have a system in place to monitor your e-mails. Complain about your boss over lunch, or at least over IMs, like the rest of us.
- Don’t send forwards because you think they’re funny. Not everyone has your sense of humor. Often people find them annoying and may pass those feelings onto you.
- BCC isn’t always blind. When a recipient selects “reply to everyone,” those listed in the BCC field will now show up in the new sender’s “to” field. If you don’t want your BCC recipients revealed to others, send them a separate e-mail.
- Always double check that the e-mail is addressed to the correct parties before hitting send. I know this seems obvious, but there is a reason why we have all gotten and sent e-mails to the wrong parties.