Survey: 25% of Americans call this ‘the most annoying’ phrase used in work emails

New research shows that 25% of Americans think one phrase, in particular, is “the most annoying” one used in work emails.

Illustration: Ashley Siebels

How many times have you gotten a message at work that made you want to roll your eyes?

New Adobe research
shows that 25% of Americans say that the phrase “Not sure if you saw my last email … ” happens to be “the most annoying” one used in work emails.

Advanis surveyed 1,001 Americans with “white-collar” jobs and smartphones for Adobe’s research. But while most respondents were from ages 25 to 64, the age range began at 18 (and continued all the way up to 65 and older).

Other phrases that everyone hates in work emails

A lot of business language seems to get under people’s skin:

  • “Not sure if you saw my last email… ” (25%)
  • “Per my last email… ” (13%)
  • “Per our conversation… ” (11%)
  • “Any updates on this?” (11%)
  • “Sorry for the double email” (10%)
  • “Please advise.” (9%)
  • “As previously stated… ” (9%)
  • “As discussed… ” (6%)
  • “Re-attaching for convenience.” (6%)

Here’s how people communicate at work

Here’s how people prefer to communicate with others in the office:

  • “Face-to-face conversations/in-person meetings:” 31%
  • “Email:” 31%
  • “Phone:” 16%
  • “Instant messaging:” 11%
  • “File sharing service:” 4%
  • “Enterprise social network:” 3%
  • “Video conferencing or video chat:” 3%
  • “Other:” 1%

But when asked about how people actually talk to each other at work “regularly,” the top three responses were: “email” (72%), “face-to-face conversations/in-person meetings” (61%), and “phone” (60%). They could pick more than one option.

People also weighed in on the best ways to communicate in different work situations — here are a few.

When giving “a status update on a project,” 50% think email is best, while 18% chose talking in person, 10% chose by phone, 11% chose instant messaging and 4% said using video.

But when “quitting your job,” just 13% said email is the best way to get the message across, while a whopping 68% chose talking in person, 8% said by phone, and a slim 3% said using instant messaging.

However, when letting your manager know about “an important issue,” 22% chose email as the best method of communication, 42% said in person, 18% said by phone, 7% said using instant messaging, and 3% said using video.

Jane Burnett|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at jburnett@theladders.com.