In today’s office environment, employees are navigating office politics, social-e challenges of communication and office etiquette. Are you aware of all the unwritten rules? Unless you’re the big boss, here are some that come to mind:
- underline in emails should only be used to denote hyperlinks;
- limit the use of blind carbon copy – commonly known as ‘bcc’ – in email for the purpose of potentially stirring up trouble and/or a$$ covering. If you’re going to throw someone under the bus let them know;
- if you have to send an ‘all staffers’ email from the executive level, make sure to remove your signature (which automatically defaults in every email you create);
- ALL CAPS RED FONT IN EMAIL DENOTES YOU ARE YELLING AND MAKES YOU APPEAR VERY IMMATURE, ESPECIALLY IN A WORK-RELATED EMAIL.
I really could go on (and I may later) but to my point… trying to keep track of all the e-rules and conduct oneself professionally is hard work and sometimes we err. With the number of things screaming for immediate attention it is easy to lose it.
e: A Novel by Matt Beaumont is great for not taking the job (and oneself) too seriously. It came recommended by a close friend and has been a staple for me. It is a laugh-out-loud funny story that chronicles the goings-on in a typical office. I can’t believe some of the plot lines and relationships but if you think about it the same things probably take place in every office.
The story is set in the U.K. at an ad agency – Miller Shanks – where the accounts and creative teams, led by the CEO, are pitching for the mega-giant Coca-Cola account while trying to keep the business of some of their lesser accounts, like Love (the porn) Channel or the lesser known car manufacturer, Mako. While one creative duo rushes to pull together a last ditch effort for the Coke pitch, another group from the ad team are on location on the Island of Mauritius along with a number of ‘busty’ stars to shoot a TV ad for Love Channel. Unfortunately, the busty stars seem to be dropping like flies to some ailment or accident of unbelievable proportion.
One would think it a simple read, but the entire story is written in email form. The politics of the office and business, all in email – the ‘bcc’s, the ‘all staffers’, the sucking up to the boss while criticizing your staff, making arrangements for cocktails and afternoon office trysts, and look for the vintage emoticon :). A special appearance (incident) with Ivana Trump has the U.K. firm’s networks overloaded with email exchanges.
I think I’ve provided you with enough to whet your appetite and pick up a copy. When you’re finished, send me your thoughts – I’d love your opinion.