Adobe survey reveals the most annoying things to include in messages to colleagues.

If you’ve haven’t yet given up email for a convoluted combination of Slack, WhatsApp, and passive-aggressive Trello updates, you should know this: no-one likes it when you ask “not sure if you saw my last email.”

That, along with “per my last email” and “per our conversation” are the most annoying phrases to receive by email, according to a survey of American email users by Adobe.

One in ten respondents were also irritated by queries whether there were “any updates on this”, faux-apologising that they’re “sorry for the double email”, and asking for the recipient to “please advise”. Other reminder phrases that made the top ten list were “as previously stated”, “as discussed,” and “reattaching for convenience”.

Such falsely polite business speak isn’t actually helpful. “Emotion and intent are sometimes hard to convey via email, so [some phrases] can negatively impact productivity and culture,” Kristin Naragon, Adobe’s director of email solutions, told CNBC.

While your intent may be to irritate your colleagues into taking action — after all, the irritating email language is mostly centred on reminders — you may want to delete your passive aggressive missive. “Your colleagues could choose not to respond out of frustration,” Naragon told CNBC. “This can damage relationships and ultimately, morale.”

The research also noted that most people, seven in ten, don’t think they check email too much, with 62% spending less than two hours on work email a day. Almost three in ten say they’ve never checked work email on vacation, though more than a third do occasionally or more.

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