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The Rules of the Business Text

I have authored blogs about keeping your written work communications professional. And, advised that although our world seems to be more and more casual it is not OK to let sloppy and abbreviated language slip into your work emails.

Because everyone is tied to their mobile devices and with the speed of business today, urgent and immediate requests have made way for texting to become part of our workday.

Although people do not want to receive work texts outside of the workday, texts are a fast way to direct message a colleague. Just as with other means of business communication be sure to follow your company’s guidelines about texting communications, and follow rules of etiquette and grammar!

Everything should be kept professional. Be cautious about what you send in text form and how it is phrased. Not only are text messages easily forwarded, they often sound more negative than you may intend.

Here are a few reminders:

  • Think twice before you send a work-related text. Is texting appropriate and appreciated by this individual or group?

  • Use proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Do not use sloppy shortcuts in business communications – even if it is a text.

  • No need for all CAPITAL letters, which is sometimes perceived as shouting; nor should you be lazy by using all lower-case.

  • Keep it very concise and to-the-point.

  • Remember that texts are not private. Assume anything you send could be forwarded!

  • If you have never texted someone previously be sure to include your name and contact information.

  • Never use your text to send confidential or sensitive personal information.

  • “Text speak” and abbreviations should not be part of your work communications.

  • Give your text a quick once-over before you hit send. Spellcheck won’t catch everything- be sure you proofread.

  • Be courteous about when you send texts. Unless the matter is of utmost urgency, make sure you are sending during business hours.

  • On the flip-side, if you are receiving texts of a non-urgent nature outside of work hours it’s fine to wait until the next business day to respond.

  • Use your Do Not Disturb feature if work texts are filling your phone after hours.

  • Err on the side of professionalism.

Please never, ever text and drive.