4 Tips For Texting In The Workplace
This article has been written by Liam McAlary, a Years 7 – 12, VCE Legal Studies and VCE English Language Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Liam then please check out his page here.
This article primarily relates to unit 3 AOS 1, and to Unit 3 AOS 2 (to a lesser extent).
I was scrolling through Google news on Wednesday evening trying to find something to give me an idea of what to write this article about. I stumbled across this article (which is admittedly from North America), and it talks about texting in the workplace, with a strong emphasis on what is appropriate texting language in the workplace.
This article mentions that when texting a colleague or client for work purposes, your language should be professional, and where possible, be free from abbreviations and emojis. This is used to explain how the use of Standard English is important in a professional environment, as there is a degree of formality that is needed in the workplace, that is not there in day to day social interactions.
Furthermore, the article also discusses how the shortenings commonly used in social text messaging, such as, “sry,” (sorry), and, “np,” (no problem) are appropriate when you are communicating with friends as they can show solidarity and rapport, as well as helping to promote positive face needs. However, when in the workplace, it is important to write in the Standard. Similarly, there is also discussion about how it is important to be respectful when you are using text messages at work, which demonstrates that formal language can help with meeting the negative face needs of those who you interact with. Conversely, informal language can challenge these negative face needs as the social distance is often needed in the workplace.
Additionally, texting is still seen as being a less formal (and less professional) means of communication so it is seen as being a last resort in the workplace, as other mechanisms such as phone calls and emails are considered more appropriate.
In summary, the language used in text messaging tends to vary depending on the purpose of the message. When it is being done in the workplace, Standard English should be preferred as it can help to acknowledge social distance, and also helps to respect negative face needs. Out of the workplace, non-standard English is more common in text messages as the purposes are more to show solidarity, rapport and to help promote positive face needs.
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