The most annoying things you can write in a work email


Avoid writing “just looping in…” or “as per my last email” in work emails if you don’t want to get on the wrong side of your colleagues.

A study of 1,928 employees by experience platform Perkbox Insights has revealed the things Brits finds most annoying to receive in an email at work, as well as the cliches that fill them with rage.

Although we might be in 2020, email isn’t dead. Almost a quarter (73%) of people said email is their preferred method of communication for work, with “face-to-face” communication coming in second place, at 50%.

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What’s more, most adults state that they spend between one and two hours of their workday checking and sending emails, 16% spend between two and three hours, while a shocking 15% spend pver five hours.

Not only do respondents check their inboxes frequently in work, but almost a third check their emails outside of work “every few hours: while one in 10 also check their emails every hour, with the same amount checking ‘constantly’.

All this time spent emailing means that many have clear ideas on how it should be done. Most respondents think that the perfect greeting for a work email is “Hi” (49%) and the best way to sign-off is to use “Kind regards” (69%). 

READ MORE: How to manage your overloaded inbox

Yet, there are many inbox greetings that don’t get such a warm welcome. The most disliked ways to start an email include “To whom it may concern”, with 37% stating that this the worst greeting, followed by 28% who think “Hey” is unacceptable.

Nevertheless, it’s important to start your email in some way, as “no greeting” came out on top as the worst way to begin your message, with 53% of the vote. 

But once you’ve started an email, how should you end it? After “Kind regards”, “Thanks” or “Thanks again” is ranked in second place as the best way to end an email, with 46% voting for this sign-off.

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On the other hand, perhaps unsurprisingly, “Love” is the worst way to end an email, with 57% saying this is a workplace no-no.  

“Warmly” (31%), “Cheers” (26%), “Yours Truly” (24%) and “Best” (12%) also all made the list. 

Getting to the content of the email – the cliche taking first place as most annoying is “just looping in…”, with a huge 37% saying they dislike this statement.

READ MORE: How to avoid annoying people via email

This is followed by three phrases relating to being followed up to do something that was mentioned in a previous email. A third of people hate the phrase “As per my last email”, followed by “Any updates on this?” (24%) and “Just checking in” (19%). 

Finally, looking at general email etiquette, many “don’ts” become apparent. In first place of things to avoid doing within a work email is “using capital letters for whole sentences”, with 67% saying this is something to avoid.

This is followed by “using kisses, or ‘x’s” (65%), “CC’ing people who don’t need to be involved” (63%), “using slang, such as OMG” (53%) and “using too many exclamation marks” (52%).

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And when it comes to exclamation marks, it turns out less is more. A huge 16% think that it’s never acceptable to use an exclamation point in a work email, and while 48% think that just one is acceptable, just 24% would stretch to two.