How saying 'hi' can land Middle East businesses in hot water

The Life: Writing an email is as easy as the five c's, according to one business training company - with video.

Powered by automated translation

Most of people do it every day. They do it for work, for social purposes and often without thought. Depending on the job, they might receive hundreds a week and send thousands a year.

This is, of course, the email.

It's nothing new. But that's the problem, says Michael Lorrigan, managing director of Spearhead business training.

People in the workplace have become too informal when writing emails for business purposes.

"I hate the word 'hi'," Mr Lorrigan said. "I don't know you from Adam and you open an email with 'hi', it's like going into a business meeting in shorts and a T-shirt."

Mr Lorrigan's other pet hates for opening an email include 'hey', a lack of date and no subject line. The core of the email should use no abbreviations and each sentence should include no more than two verbs.

The best emails include the five 'c's according to Spearhead. They should be clear, correct, concise, complete and should always be followed up with a phone call or another email to; confirm.

In today's age of social media, this might seem a bit too formal. But training consultancies say that it's better to err on the side of formality than offer the wrong impression to a prospective client, your boss or a colleague.

"Respond to how the conversation develops," Mr Lorrigan advises. "People forget that we are in the Middle East where respect and formality are important."