We use words to exchange information. Words can inform our minds or warm our feelings but also anger us or destroy our self-confidence.

How does this relate to business? Business relationships are built mainly through the exchange of words: telephone calls, emails, sales pitches and closing deals, to name a few. What we say is therefore a vital element in the success of our companies. We use technology now more than ever which increases the importance of words. For example, remote working is becoming more common. The Virgin Media Business predict that 60% of people will work regularly from home by 2022. This means that we do, and are continuing to, communicate face-to-face less.

Communicating with someone remotely means that you are not using body language or tone of voice -which normally accounts for a total of 93% of all communication. The words that you use therefore hold far more significance. When writing emails, the following should be taken into account:

A professional email should be structured using 6 simple steps:

1  Use their name. It has also been shown that adding a “Hi” or “Dear” before their name encourages a positive relationship to be built.

2  Emote in your opening sentence.

3  Be concise but not snappy.

4  Try and mirror their tone of writing as it will help to build rapport.

5  Add your next steps.

6  End well.

Words to avoid include:

1  “Just” – This minimises the significance of what you are saying.

2  “Hopefully” – This shows that you have relinquished control over something.

3  “Actually” – This implies that you are lacking confidence in what you are saying

Thinking carefully about what you say and how you say it will prove to make a difference in your working life. By adhering to these simple rules of email etiquette, strong relationships can be built. Successful businesses are built on strong relationships.

What impact do you think technology is having on communication in the office?