Email & Text Etiquette
This is the resident Gen Z here at Vado, and I’d like to bring up a topic that my generation struggles with in daily workplace interactions.
So, I have a Millennial sister and a Boomer mother. Millennial Melanie told me that mom was mad at her. To which I replied, “Why would mom be mad at you?” And she replied, “IDK, she texted me back ‘Okay’” (notice the lack of punctuation in the response). I had to chuckle because I knew there was no underlying anger, that my mother was just in a hurry and only had time for “Hey Siri, respond okay.” I also knew that I would’ve reacted the same way. When I brought this up to the Vado team, I mentioned the issue that younger employees have with analyzing and writing workplace emails and texts.
I started texting in 4th grade, 9 years old! Most people in my generation have been texting far longer than they haven’t. Seeing as this was our main connection to friends, foes, and acquaintances alike, we had to interpret emotions through text on a screen. Just as you interpret body language and tone in face-to-face conversation, we naturally do the same thing, just through text. This led to the development of a sort of ‘texting language.’ It looks a lot like your language, but every punctuation and word choice has a deeper, interpretive meaning.
For example, short, non-emotive responses mean the writer is mad or upset. The way to convey you’re happy is with the use of exclamation points, the lack thereof can only mean unhappy. This isn’t just me; you can show any of my peers the following two sentences and they’ll understand the difference.
“Okay!! See you then!” vs “Okay”
This makes email in the workplace a rather anxiety-inducing task. Our up-bringing taught us one set of rules for virtual communication, then all of that goes out the professionalism window when entering the business world.
Help reduce the anxiety and confusion over virtual communication for your employees, especially the younger employees, with Vado’s Email and Text Etiquette bundle.