18 Common Work E-mail Mistakes

Andrew G. Rosen, U.S. News and World Report

Updated Service Wide Skills


E-mail has become an invaluable tool in the workplace. However, the more e-mails we send, the more likely we are to make a mistake. Even simple mistakes can have huge consequences and result in a lost promotion or a lost job.

In the article 18 Common Work E-Mail Mistakes, author Andrew G. Rosen outlines the most common mistakes we make when writing work e-mails. He follows each example with helpful tips on how to avoid these common mistakes, resulting in more efficient e-mails and less potentially disastrous outcomes.

Some of the common e-mail mistakes we make:

  • Hitting “Send” before you mean to
  • Forgetting the attachment or sending the wrong attachment
  • Expecting an instant response
  • Sending an e-mail while you are angry
  • Using BCC too often
  • Hitting “Reply All” unintentionally

From the Article

12. Underestimating the importance of a subject line. The subject line is your headline. Make it interesting, and you’ll increase the odds of getting the recipient’s attention. Our inboxes are cluttered; you need to be creative and direct to help the recipient cut through the noise. You should consistently use meaningful and descriptive subject lines. This will help your colleagues determine what you’re writing about and build your “inbox street cred,” which means important messages are more likely to be read.


  • Are you guilty of any of these common work e-mail mistakes?
  • Would you add any more mistakes to this list?



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