Writing emails at work is something we do on automatic pilot but shouldn’t, because how you email matters.

Would you show up for work in rumpled pajamas and bed hair? Would you slouch in your chair scrolling through your Instagram feed on your phone while in a one-on-one meeting with your boss? No and no, because you know your appearance and body language are a reflection of your professionalism (and brand) in the workplace.

But do you realize the same is true of the emails you write?

How you do email is part of your brand
In a LinkedIn article on ways writing emails at work affects your personal brand, Executive Coach Taura Prosek says, “Email as a communication vehicle is a tangible reflection of your image in the workplace. It is as important as how you speak, dress, and interact with others.”

Being well-spoken, well-groomed and well-behaved are not enough to cement your brand. How you email also speaks volumes about your professionalism, credibility and capability. Therefore, your email writing skills must be in line with all the other ways you present yourself at work for you to have a consistent brand.

If you dress well but send poorly written emails, your clothes can’t tell the brand story you’re going for because your email writing skills are working against you. If you keep meetings focused and effective but write confusing emails, your email writing skills are working against you. If you consistently deliver projects on time and on budget but…well, you know what I’m going to say.

With so many WFH, email matters more
How you email matters even more now that so many of us are working from home. We aren’t having those personal interactions that can do much to boost our brands in the workplace, and email therefore has a bigger impact on the impressions we’re making on our bosses, our coworkers and our clients. And that’s all the more reason to get better at email.writing emails at work gets better with this class

Make your brand: Email with care
Email is particularly dangerous to our brands because it’s easy to dash off thoughts or replies, especially on our smartphones when not focused or even when at our desks but in a hurry. Choose to email with care instead and make your brand, don’t break it. Slow down and pay attention when writing or replying to emails. Keep in mind that you are making a positive or a negative impression with every email you send.

Also invest a little time in learning how to write professional emails when at work. By professional, I don’t mean stuffy, formal or corporate. I mean clear, effective and error-free. Even when you’re slowing down and paying more attention to your email writing, you could be making mistakes or missing out on ways to improve. So take a little time to learn to do better.

To improve your skillset for writing emails at work, start here with resources I’ve pulled together for you:

Effective business emails are written in such a way that they reflect your brand in the same way your clothes and your body language do. Keep that in mind and make your brand, don’t break it.

writing emails at work class on business email writing

Sharon Ernst is a retired freelance copywriter now on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes.