My employees work remotely and I’m wondering what key points should be noted with using e-mail to communicate?
Nothing can frustrate your team more than communicating in an e-mail jungle.
Be professional, consistent and efficient by setting some ground rules about email communications through an email etiquette policy. Do not overuse Reply to All. Make your message personal. Do not attach unnecessary files. Write the subject line last, and include the most relevant information.
Respond to emails promptly, even if you are simply saying, "Got your email. I'll get back to you shortly." Your team needs to know you are available and present. Acknowledge the little things, even with a short message. Let your team know that even if they are working in physical isolation most of the time, they are still valued.
Read your emails before you send them out. Be concise and clear with your wording. A wrong word or missed punctuation can result in misinterpretation and potentially lead to frustration or miscommunication. Unlike spoken communication, an email has no visual or sound cues that indicate your emotion and intent.
Get your team together from time to time. Personal relationships allow us to "see" and better visualize and understand how the author of an email is communicating. Perhaps try using video conferencing or individual webcams.
There are several web-based email solutions
you may want to consider.