The 9 most annoying phrases people use in work emails: 'Per my last email'

'Sorry for the double email'

Olivia Petter
Monday 27 August 2018 12:41 BST
(Getty Images)

The etiquette surrounding email communication is entrenched in nuance.

From signing off in an appropriate manner to striking the right balance between a friendly but professional tone, getting to grips with email rhetoric is a true art, one that many of us are evidently getting wrong.

A new survey carried out by software company Adobe has revealed the most irritating phrases people use in emails to their colleagues - and you will most certainly be familiar with a few.

The poll of 1,000 workers in the US found that the most-hated phrases used in emails are tacit implications that the recipient has not yet responded to a previous email, which can come across in a slightly passive aggressive manner.

Ranking top in the list of nine phrases is “Not sure if you saw my last email,” which was cited as the most-hated phrase by a quarter of survey respondents.

This was followed by “per my last email” (13 per cent) and “per our conversation” (11 per cent).

Other phrases included in the list were also follow-up requests e.g. “Any updates on this?” and “Sorry for the double email”.

Despite being the fastest and most efficient way to communicate, expressing oneself clearly and politely via email can be tricky, explains Kristen Naragon, Adobe’s director of email solutions.

"Emotion and intent are sometimes hard to convey via email, so [some phrases] can negatively impact productivity and culture," she tells CNBC.

Naragon added that saying the wrong thing in an email may contribute to a toxic work environment, leading to strained relationships between colleagues.

"Your colleagues could choose not to respond out of frustration," she continues.

"This can damage relationships and ultimately, morale."

Adobe’s research comes after a survey carried out by Glassdoor last year revealed the most annoying phrases used by colleagues in conversation.

2,000 participants were asked to name their most-hated office catchphrases, with “touch base” ranking highest.

This was followed by “blue sky thinking”, “we’re on a journey” and “game changer”.

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