Now, normally I wouldn't ask this question, but given my current supervisor's view on written communique - I feel your thoughts, insights, opinions - what have you - would be helpful. And for what it's worth, I looked for duplicates but didn't see any. Sorry if there is one.

My boss hates paper! He despises it. He wants everything emailed to him, regardless of how mundane. I have decided to go to look for new work, and have had success in interviews and am close to closing on a new job. Additionally, I know that an email notice is accepted in Canada--not overly personal but it is an accepted for of written communique. However, there is something in my gut that tells me I should provide it to him on actual, hard-copy paper despite his personal preferences.

I have checked my contract - it only says "written resignation" not email, not a letter - just written.

Does anyone see any problems by providing him a written letter, as opposed to an email - given his personal preferences and the way he likes office communication to be done?

  • In Australia, email is considered a written form of communication. Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 15:20
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    @GregoryCurrie, in Canada it is too. But there is something about a resignation letter that makes me feel as though it should be done on paper-paper, not email, which is at odds with by boss' preferences - hence the question. Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 15:22
  • If there is a prevailing culture of physical letters for resignation letters, do that. It's likely your boss will just have to deal with this "slight". Email does allow it to be CCed to HR however. In addition, worth considering that their strong opinions on work related communication don't extend to HR documents, which is sort of sits outside the realm of regular office communication. Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 15:25
  • Also, like, if you give him a resignation letter, and the thing he is focused on is not the fact that you're quitting, but the fact it's physical document... I don't know... are his feelings really worth worrying about anyway? Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 15:29
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    'Does anyone see any problems by providing him a written letter, as opposed to an email - given his personal preferences and they way he likes office communication to be done.' Why do you insist on a written piece of paper when you already know your boss prefers an e-mail? If you want it for your personal record, just print out the e-mail..
    – iLuvLogix
    Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 15:31

4 Answers 4


"Written" includes emails, so that should be perfectly valid. What you can't do is call him say "I quit" and then leave. There needs to be a paper trail (although these days this is digital mainly) that the resignation came from you and not hearsay.

However, it's probably worth calling your boss first and talking things over before the resignation notice hits his inbox. This is assuming you have a good working relationship with him of course.

  • That is exactly my thinking - I am ok with email. Just I feel that during the conversation I should hand him my resignation before sending it via email. That way there is that formality of "handing in" my resignation, and that he knows I am serious before the email hits his inbox. I really don't want to blind side the guy, that's not cool. Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 15:35
  • @Crosbonaught - If you are worried, send the email, then place a copy of the email on their desk. if you are working from home, then a physical copy is sort of a moot point, since it can't be done even if you wanted to.
    – Donald
    Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 20:16

I can't see any harm in doing both. Send the email and then drop in a hard copy "for filing purposes", or something along those lines.


He hates paper, so what? You're leaving soon anyway.

But I would make sure my boss does not have to learn by email or written note that I was leaving. Before sending any formal notification, tell your boss face-to-face you are leaving. Inform at HR what the formal procedure is when resigning, and follow that. If they're ok with an email, send an email. If they want a letter, write a letter. If it is required your boss also gets a formal notification, cc him if you send an email, or make a copy of the letter you send to HR.

Last time I resigned, I called a short meeting with my manager and the department's manager on the last Friday of the month, and told them I was going to leave at the end of next month. I also told them how many vacation days I had left, and that I was going to take them at the end of the month, giving them my effective last day in the office. Then I went to HR and handed over my resignation letter.


You can send him a pdf file via email. You can both sign it digitally and he'll be able to print it if he needs a paper version.

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