Want Your Colleague to Answer Your Email? Don’t Use These Phrases

iStock
iStock

Email can be a godsend for getting things done at the office, but it can also be a huge pain. Sorting through and responding to emails eats up a huge chunk of many office workers’ days, and many of the messages may feel more annoying than useful. If you want to make sure your coworkers don’t roll their eyes when they see another one of your emails, there are a few overused phrases you want to avoid, according to a new poll from Adobe spotted by The Guardian.

Adobe’s annual consumer email survey recruited more than 1000 white-collar workers with smartphones, asking them how they use email for both work and their personal life, including how often they check their inboxes, how they feel about the messages they get, and how they prefer to communicate at the office. The survey found that participants spent an average of 3.1 hours a week checking their work email. And it seems some phrases really turn those workers off.

When asked to name the most annoying phrase to read in an email, 25 percent of participants said “Not sure if you saw my last email” enraged them most. That was followed by phrases like “per my last email,” “per our conversation,” and “any update on this?” Apparently, people really don’t like follow-up emails. Some of the other phrases that turned people off included “sorry for the double email,” “please advise,” “as previously stated,” “as discussed,” and “re-attaching for convenience.”

The takeaway seems to be that there’s no passive aggressive email follow-up that won’t annoy the recipient. If someone hasn’t responded to your email yet, it’s probably because they don’t want to, not because they didn’t see your last message. This echoes previous findings on how people read into professional emails. HR professionals interviewed by Glassdoor, for instance, also included “as per my last email” as an example of an unprofessional email message. “It’s passive aggressive and a very thinly-veiled attempt at passing blame for a project that has stalled,” as Jon Brodsky of Finder.com told the site.

This is just the latest survey to find that how you phrase your emails really does matter. Interviewees also recommended nixing tentative filler language like “no worries if not” from work emails. If you want to get ahead, it’s better to be assertive, clear, and direct in your emails, not passive aggressive and wishy-washy.

Oh, and if you’re emailing someone you don’t know, please don’t pull the “to whom it may concern” trick. According to etiquette experts, it comes off as far too formal and impersonal. You don’t want to veer too far toward the informal and launch into a “Yo!”, but you can go ahead and stick to “Hi, [name].”

[h/t The Guardian]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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More Than 38,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Has Been Recalled

Beef-ware.
Beef-ware.
Angele J, Pexels

Your lettuce-based summer salads are safe for the moment, but there are other products you should be careful about using these days: Certain brands of hand sanitizer, for example, have been recalled for containing methanol. And as Real Simple reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recently recalled 38,406 pounds of ground beef.

When JBS Food Canada ULC shipped the beef over the border from its plant in Alberta, Canada, it somehow skirted the import reinspection process, so FSIS never verified that it met U.S. food safety standards. In other words, we don’t know if there’s anything wrong with it—and no reports of illness have been tied to it so far—but eating unapproved beef is simply not worth the risk.

The beef entered the country on July 13 as raw, frozen, boneless head meat products, and Balter Meat Company processed it into 80-pound boxes of ground beef. It was sent to holding locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina before heading to retailers that may not be specific to those four states. According to a press release, FSIS will post the list of retailers on its website after it confirms them.

In the meantime, it’s up to consumers to toss any ground beef with labels that match those here [PDF]. Keep an eye out for lot codes 2020A and 2030A, establishment number 11126, and use-or-freeze-by dates August 9 and August 10.

[h/t Real Simple]