Email Etiquette Guidelines - E-mail Etiquette Guidelines

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					     E-mail Etiquette Guidelines

Consultation with:

SIG Group – July 2008
JSCC – August 2008
Board –

      Human Resources Department, The Heights, 59-65 Lowlands Road, Harrow on the Hill,
                                   Middlesex HA1 3AW

                                        Page 1 of 4              E-mail Etiquette Guidelines

Why do we need email etiquette?

   1. To convey a professional image
   2. For efficiency and effectiveness
   3. For protection from liability

Email etiquette tips:

   1. Emails, whether sent or forwarded, should not have any content that is
      libellous, pornographic, sexually or racially offensive, swearing, or other wise
      illegal. Make it personal, but do not write something in an e-mail which you
      would not write in a letter or say to someone’s face.

   2. Read the email before you send it. Think if your first reaction is the one you
      want the recipient to receive. If you are unsure, save it in the Draft box and
      edit it later before sending to ensure that it conveys the correct message.

   3. Answer all potential questions, try to pre-empt further questions.

   4. Be concise and to the point. Avoid long sentences. It is more user friendly to
      use paragraphs to break up the text.

   5. Use proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting, structure and layout.
      Take care with abbreviations and emoticons. Treat the email as a letter
      whether formal or informal.

   6. Emails should be on a clear white background, in black print.

   7. Include a meaningful subject heading in the ‘Subject’ box at the top. This aids
      understanding and makes it easier to trace previous correspondence.

   8. Always include your name, job title, organisation name and telephone number
      (fax number optional) and the Freedom of Information Act statement at the
      foot of your message. These can be added automatically with an electronic
      signature. Refer to the corporate style.

   9. Use lower and upper case letters as you would in normal writing: Using
      CAPITALS can be considered to be “shouting”.

   10. The use of multiple exclamation marks can be considered rude.

   11. Do not attach unnecessary files or very large files (avoid 10Mb+). 2Mb is not
       an uncommon limit. It is helpful for recipients if you include the full file names
       of attachments in the text of the message.

   12. Use the high priority setting when a message is genuinely of high priority and
       requires fast delivery. Overuse of the high priority setting can dilute the

                                      Page 2 of 4            E-mail Etiquette Guidelines
   importance of messages. Use the high priority setting instead of the words

13. Emails should not be sent to large numbers of people unless you are sure
    that it is directly relevant to their job. Be sympathetic to staff who are away
    from work and avoid sending messages to them which would not be relevant
    upon their return.

14. Use the cc: field sparingly.

15. Avoid the overuse of ‘Reply to All’. Only reply to those who need to know
    your response, i.e. not everyone needs to know that you will not be attending
    a meeting.

16. Do not forward chain letters, virus hoaxes or jokes that may be deemed by
    some as offensive.

17. Do not request Delivery and Read receipts unless you need positive
    confirmation that a message has been received and opened.

18. Make proper arrangements about how your e-mail will be handled when you
    are away; set up a suitable auto reply.

19. Check your mailbox regularly for messages; try to answer in a timely manner.

20. Where possible, do not use email to discuss confidential information. Ensure
    you have read and understand the PCT’s leaflet on Data Security. When a
    confidential email is received, care should be taken if it is necessary to
    forward it to others.

21. You must ensure that you only send person-identifiable information when it is
    absolutely secure. You may send information by email if it is within the same
    domain. This means:

       • to or from
       • to or from

   You may not send person-identifiable information by email if the message
   contains unencrypted personal information and it is going to travel between
   domains or on internet-based email systems (such as hotmail or yahoo).

22. Do not reply to spam.

23. Do not use the PCT’s email service to advertise commercial or personal

24. Remember that most emails may be disclosed under the Freedom of
    Information Act 2000.

                                   Page 3 of 4          E-mail Etiquette Guidelines
Harrow PCT ICT Security Policy Email Policy and Guidelines
Information and Security and Data Protection Leaflet
Draft Harrow PCT Corporate Style Policy

                                   Page 4 of 4          E-mail Etiquette Guidelines