Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Literacy event 2: a work email

This is a work-related email to two colleagues, one of whom is my line manager). The literacy practice is answering a question/solving a problem.

I'd say we've a more formal working relationship - formal in an HE, not a armed forces way - and the email is in response to an earlier email articulating some problems with our Elgg (an open source SNS) installation.

work email literacy practice

Sections of the earlier email are quoted and answers fairly brief. Key issues are explained and a way forward outlined. There's no conversational joking - it's all to-the-point, professional stuff.

I tend to use email in lieu of a phone call, especially when:
  • multiple recipients are involved
  • I want to leave an audit trail ("at today's meeting we agreed to ...")
  • I'm pressed for time and want to avoid the small talk that a phone call entails ("Hi X, how are things etc., etc. ... the reason I'm calling is ...")
Is another reason I use email a lot to do with the culture of the workplace where email is the default medium, even replacing face-to-face conversations with colleagues who are only a few doors down the corridor?

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