There are five types of emailer – which one are you?

The art of email is a minefield.

What greeting should you use? How many exclamation points is too many? How do you end your message without using the passive-aggressive ‘best’?

Then within all that trickiness – and the stress of having thousands upon thousands of unread emails in your inbox – is the added struggle to be understood when you and your coworkers have such different email styles.

While some people pepper their messages with smiley faces and ‘hope you’re well!’s, others prefer one-word responses with scary full stops.

It might help to categorise ourselves and others into these five email types, as defined by careers website Seek, so we can understand that no, your coworker isn’t implying you suck at your job with their minimalist approach, and respond accordingly.

So, which type are you? And which one do your colleagues fit into?

The Black Hole

Ah, yes, this describes those mysterious people who just seem to never, ever check their emails or respond to them.

They might be opening your messages, but will remain silent, whether you ask them direct questions or just need confirmation that they’ve seen what you said.

The best approach for this type? Bypass their inbox entirely and try a different means of communication. Give them a call, wander over to their desk, and if you do need a paper trail, mention in conversation that you’ll send an email confirming what’s been discussed.

The Over-Communicator

Ever received an email, seen it, then soon after received a call from the sender asking if you have, in fact, seen their email?

You’re dealing with an Over-Communicator; someone who can’t stick to one form of chatting and needs near-immediate confirmation that you’ve seen their message and will be responding soon.

To deal with this type, Seek recommends ‘responding as soon as possible to confirm you’ve received their email, and assuring them you’ll come back to them shortly’.

If their incessant phone calls are getting annoying, it might be worth calmly telling them over the phone that you will respond to all emails, and to ask that that in future they only call if it’s urgent or their email has been ignored for hours.

The Rambler

As the name suggests, The Rambler sends super wordy emails that are often excessive in length.

This is often an overcompensation when it comes to wanting to seem nice and friendly, or wanting to show they have lots of great views and ideas.

Keep your responses to-the-point and brief, rather than matching them with your own ramble, to avoid getting into a chain of essay-length missives.

The Single-Word Replier

The opposite of The Rambler, The Single-Word Replier responds to emails with single word replies that can feel blunt, like ‘okay’, ‘seen’, ‘no’.

Don’t take it personally or imagine that this person secretly hates you – it’s more likely that they’re just very busy and prefer not to spend ages sending emails.

‘If their emails are so brief you don’t get the information you need, pick up the phone and give them a quick call to confirm,’ says Seek.

The LOLcats Sender

We hope people aren’t still sending LOLcats in 2020, but the general vibe prevails.

This type is prone to clogging up your inbox with non-work-related messages, whether that’s jokes, memes, gifs, or replying-all to something important with a cheery emoji.

‘Some people welcome these emails as a feel-good distraction, while others despise them with the passion of a thousand burning suns,’ says Seek.

‘If you lean towards the latter, it’s okay to politely request you not be CC’d in on them in future. If you don’t want to offend, you can always create a rule to send all of their emails directly to a specific folder – just be sure to check it regularly so you don’t miss anything work-related.’

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