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I currently use "Best", but have been told that "Regards" is better for colleagues. I always thought of "Regards" as a cold and formal sign off.

This interesting article 29 ways to sign off on an email, and when to use each one on Business Insider weighs in, but I don't know if it's right.

How should I choose the proper sign off for my work emails?

  • Is there a particular reason you feel you always have to have a 'sign off', even for the daily/informal? I typically only use 'regards' when I'm being extra-formal and even then usually only on the first contact. Other than that is usually just (my name) or 'thanks, (my name)' if appropriate. – brhans May 31 '18 at 12:53
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    @Neo not true, one is professional and universally accepted, the other is not. – Old_Lamplighter May 31 '18 at 13:06
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    @Neo if you only disagree with me once per year, double check. ;) – Old_Lamplighter May 31 '18 at 13:37
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    and literally in the same month as the article the OP just added was posted this got posted on Bloomberg (credit to @Thanos who posted this in The Workplace Chat) – motosubatsu May 31 '18 at 14:10
  • I asked pretty much the same question a while back: english.stackexchange.com/q/11661/4295 – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen May 31 '18 at 15:03
10

It doesn't matter. But in English, "Best" by itself doesn't really mean much.

Regards

is fine, as is

Thanks

It really depends on the culture of the company/team you work with and what most people say. Given enough traffic, not many people take notice of the wording of email closing anyway.

I usually end with "Thanks" because I'm invariably asking for something, or thanking someone for something.

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  • Most email clients I use trim those two lines off anyway because they rarely matter. – corsiKa May 31 '18 at 14:39
4

It really depends on the norms of the organization. What do your peers use? Use similar sign-offs.

However, the sign off line is an excellent opportunity to express gratitude and show a little warmth and good will.

This is especially important as skilled email writers will keep the body of the email very cogent and short. One must get to the point in emails and this doesn’t leave much room for niceties.

A “thank you” might work for this but even better is a note of gratitude for something specific. It demonstrates appreciation to the other person: “BTW, thanks for helping out with xxx yesterday!” You could also express anticipation for whatever the response to the email will be: “So excited to see your TPS reports!” (That sounds like a joke but the point stands).

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3

A lot of my coworkers use very informal sign offs, if ever, when they write internal emails. We've known each other for a long time and we all know that an informal sign off is acceptable. This might be different for you so as others have suggested, you should take note of how everyone else signs off when emailing you.

I do personally find "thanks" works well as a general reply to your coworkers. I would hold off on using words like "regards" unless you are talking with management or someone you do not know well.

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