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‘Hiya’: The worst ways to start and end work emails

Do your work emails come across passive-aggressive or uptight?

Work emails
If you start or end your work emails with these phrases, you could be offending your colleagues. (Source: Getty/Preply)

Do you start your work emails with a simple ‘hi’ or ‘good morning’? Do you skip the formalities altogether? Or are you a bit passive-aggressive and launch in with an ‘as per my last email’?

Language-learning platform Preply has revealed the best and worst ways to start and end a work email. According to the US survey of 1,000 workers, almost half of people said they could tell a co-worker’s mood based on their chosen greetings and sign-offs.

An overwhelming 91 per cent of respondents said their colleagues were sometimes “passive-aggressive” over email, while more than a third said they tweaked their normal greetings to show their frustration.

When it comes to passive-aggressive emails, the most “savage” greeting is nothing at all. This was followed by the super-casual ‘hiya’, and just starting with someone’s name.

The worst way to end an email was also with nothing at all, followed by signing off with your name alone, a cool but polite ‘thanks in advance’ (which some people may see as presumptuous), ‘respectfully’ and then ‘cheers’.

Starting an email with a ‘dear [name]’ or ‘greetings [name]' was seen as “uptight”, as was ending with ‘respectfully’, ‘kind regards’ and ‘sincerely’.

Work emails
Here's how your work emails are being perceived. (Source: Preply)

The most common way to start an email was with a simple ‘hi [name], beating out the more businesslike ‘good morning/afternoon/evening [name]’, and ‘hello [name]’. Most people steered away from the more formal ‘dear [name]’ and casual ‘hey’.

As for closing an email, the majority of people went with a simple ‘thank you’, followed by a more relaxed ‘thanks’ and just signing your name. At the bottom of the list, was the more old-fashioned sign-off ‘kind regards’, followed by ‘take care’, ‘best’ and ‘respectfully’.

Email etiquette

There are a ton of other “unspoken” rules when it comes to work emails. For instance, 42 per cent of people said emojis were never appropriate to use in work emails.

Exclamation marks were another hot topic, with 48 per cent saying they regularly re-read emails and removed them, while 25 per cent re-read emails and added them in.

After the initial email, most people said you should get rid of greetings and sign-offs immediately (32 per cent) or gradually (27 per cent).

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