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22nd Sep 2020

It’s 2020: Can we stop sending ‘I hope this finds you well’ emails?

Justine Stafford

work emails

I hope it doesn’t find me at all tbh.

Ok I get it, you want to seem friendly. But what’s friendly about saying something we both know is a lie? ‘I hope this finds you well?’ Really? It’s 2020, I’m lucky if it finds me at all.

I think emails have become a lot like birthday cards from your Nan. There’s too much generic greeting and not enough getting straight to the point/the €20 inside.

You don’t need to ask how my weekend went Karen, we both know I re-watched Come Dine With Me and ate my weight in custard creams (honestly, I’m okay with gaining two stone right now, my before and after pictures are going to look way more impressive).

Why can’t we just treat emails like a post-it note? You’ve only so much room to work with so you best get straight to the point. It could be as simple as sending “Report needed by 5pm” or “Were you drinking on that Zoom call?”; no need for all the padding or suggesting that a 12pm whiskey sour is a problem.

If the above still hasn’t convinced you and you can’t part from a generic greeting, why not try one of these alternatives instead:

  • I hope this email finds you wearing a mask.
  • I hope this email finds Waldo.
  • I hope this email finds a fiver in your old jeans (always a great feeling).
  • I hope this email finds you, well. (OK, this is the one exception. If you are emailing a physical well you may use this greeting. Though I’d probably open with ‘I hope this email finds the child trapped inside you’ if that’s the case but that’s just me).

I hope this piece has been enough to make you reconsider your emailing practice for 2020. Think twice about your greeting, do you really hope they’re ‘well’ or do you hope they’re just staying semi-sane in the current crisis?

Think about it.

Anyway, I have to go. It’s 11:30am and I’ve a whiskey sour to make.

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge