Sample this: Hey, a quick note: Can I call you at 5pm today to pick your mind on something?
Another: Curious if it might feel good if you’re up for adding some time slots to these schedules? I have a hunch then the posts should go out more smoothly! Eager to get to the bottom of this for you!
And Another: Hey, since you have not been responding to my emails, I am forced to assume these three things- (a) You have gone underground, like really underground with no access to digital transformation the world is seeing (b) You are an alien (c) You don’t seem these emails of use to you. I hope it’s the third one, because then at least I can tell you what’s in it for you!
These are the kind of “work” emails that I have been getting lately. I don’t know these people; these are primarily service providers who wish to connect for business or solve a problem that I may have with their services.
The zest and the youthful bubbly tone of these emails do feel like fresh air, but it makes me wonder-Is being in-formal the new formal?
I remember how my first boss would spend time with me explaining me the Do’s and Don’ts of formal email writing. He would check on the grammar, the tone, the spellings and would only be satisfied once the email checks all parameters of being as formal as possible.
Sample this: May I request you to kindly let me know if a call at 5pm can be scheduled with you to discuss our next steps.
Never ever after that have I sent an email (or even received one) which doesn’t meet the protocol of being formal. And suddenly, now past few months, the trend of new in-formal email writing seems to be catching pace. The usual formal ones seem so boring in front of these funky emails.
And in fact such emails force me to respond back to them much more than a formal toned stiff email. But I could be an exception.
When I asked around a few friends, who are primarily from Banking and Consulting organizations, they were surprised to know that such emails are being accepted by corporates. They are not used to such a language and would never dare to send out a casual sounding email to any of their stakeholder- internal or external.
Another friend shared this interesting story-Once I had asked for a leave on WhatsApp and my manager had sent a smiley. I assumed its granted but once I returned to office the next day I had a nasty email in my Inbox. I was surprised so I asked him what’s wrong. He said anything which is official needs to be communicated officially. WhatsApp is not an official mode of communication, so anything being exchanged there is not to be taken seriously.
It doesn’t surprise me. Everything around is, till now, has been very formal. The monthly bill from Banks, plan updates from telecom service providers to the auto generated tickets from HRMS service providers, the language is as English as it could get.
However, with the emails from the new age organizations, like Urban Ladder, Zomato, Voonik etc. taking the casual route to communicating their message to their prospective customers and our acceptance to being part of their subscriber list does hint towards our inclination of liking the funky style of delivering a message. As of now as a customer, but maybe next as a stakeholder.
So, how do you like to read your official emails? Will informality be the new formality in the next few years?