5 Text Message Etiquette Rules You Should Follow to Always Appear Professional

Don't do anything you wouldn't do in person.
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Chat groups have made it easier for work announcements to spread and for business transactions to happen without the need for face-to-face meetings. That said, it's now just as important to practice proper etiquette when messaging so you always remain respectful and professional when talking to your peers. (You know how you sometimes seen-zone makulit officemates? No one wants to be that person.)

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At the end of the day, keep in mind that exchanges over text aren't much different from physical conversations, so don't do anything you wouldn't do face-to-face. Here are some other mistakes to avoid:

1| "Calling you now!"

Unless someone is expecting your call, try to send a text first before dialling the number (and if you've never met this person before, be sure to introduce yourself via text first, too!). This way, they can prep for the conversation better as opposed to getting caught off guard and giving indefinite answers.

Also, if they aren't answering, then it means they're busy, so wait until they get back to you. Sure, in rush situations, there isn't always time for pleasantries, but if you have the time to type "Calling you now!" then you also have the time to carefully craft your message to include why your call is urgent. Which brings us to...

2| "Are you free on Friday?" 

Just because someone is free doesn't mean they're going to be available for whatever you need them for. Give as much information as possible in one message (and don't send five different messages with bits of info on each) to save both parties time. If you can't disclose too much info yet, keep it simple and brief. An honest but vague "Are you free for a meeting on Friday night for a possible job opportunity?" is better than nothing at all. 


3| "Sis, omw! Fyi, low batt. c u!"

Avoid using too many shortcuts, abbreviations and slang (especially when talking to older colleagues). Spell out your words and complete your sentences. This way, you won't leave much room for misinterpretation in terms of tone and what you really mean. If you prefer to sound friendly and approachable, you may opt to add a smiley or emoji (used sparingly) and be sure to add a "Good morning/afternoon/evening!" to seem more upbeat.

4| "Please reply"

When you ask a question, the receiver already knows that you're expecting a response. Allow them some time to formulate a proper reply, and if you need to follow up, phrase it with some consideration. If there's a time constraint, make sure to indicate that in your message and include the consquence of a late response. Example: "Hoping to hear back from you by 11 a.m. tomorrow, as tickets will only be available until then." There, simple, clear and concise.

5| "Hi, please send the cost estimate by Monday" *sends at 2 a.m.*

If it can wait until office hours, then do so. Most people get notified by message alert tones and if it's not urgent, you don't want to wake your colleague up for it. Work-life balance isn't a trend, it's the key to keeping your office productive and your co-workers happy. This doesn't just apply to work but even when shopping online. Most small and online businesses go above and beyond for customers to make a sale, so they'll always reply as soon as they can. But unless they specifiy that it's a 24-hour customer service line, avoid calling and messaging at odd hours to be considerate of their schedules, too. 

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This story originally appeared on Femalenetwork.com. Minor edits have been made by Esquiremag.ph. 

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Ysabel Y. Yuzon for Femalenetwork.com
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