Should You Text Your Boss? 5 Tips For Texting Professionally

Get Our Free Ultimate Guide to Coding for Beginners

Get Our Free Ultimate Guide to Coding for Beginners

Make a plan for learning the tech skills you need to land a new job with this 60+ page FREE ebook!

If you are anything like me, then you text more than you ever actually talk on the phone. Honestly, when someone actually calls me I assume it is really bad news or a telemarketer!

Clearly, I am not alone. A recent study found that millennials consider using their smart phone to be more important than brushing their teeth or wearing deodorant. So there is no question that texting has also become part of our professional lives.

Sometimes it is just quicker and more efficient to send a short 1 sentence text than to write pick up the phone for what will end up being a 10 minute call. Eddi Ricci Jr. pointed out on Personal Branding Blog that “texts cut back on awkward hellos, small talk or good byes. When we reach out to someone via text or email, the person is reading the message on their own terms and it’s not disruptive to their day (this mentality is stuck in the senders head more than the receiver’s mind and is a cause of call reluctancy).” 

Plus, texting can feel like a nicer way to say thank you than an e-follow up after meeting with someone. Lo Bosworth, founder of party-in-a-box startup Revelry House, recently told Levo League that she texts new contacts to follow up instead of emailing. “It feels more personal!” she added.

If you work with mostly people your age in a somewhat informal work environment, texting etiquette is pretty easy. But if you are texting with a manager (who may be a bit older), or if your work environment is more formal than a startup, there are certain things you need to remember.

Even though it may be a text, it is still a work conversation. Keep these tips in mind to stay on point with your professional texting etiquette:

1. Don’t communicate big, important decisions through text

The launch of a new product is going to be pushed up to next month. The company headquarters is going to officially move to San Francisco from New York. These big, important decisions will usually require context and details, something that is not communicated well through text messaging. Stay away from defaulting to your phone for these type of communications.

2. Don’t send bad news via text

On that note, also don’t send bad news through texts. Although you may be thinking that you are helping by giving someone advanced notice, it can come across as insensitive and rudely casual. If you have bad news to communicate, such as a colleague being let go or a project being cancelled, try sending an FYI text that invites a short phone call instead. For example, “when you have a moment, I’d like to give you a heads up about something” if it’s time sensitive.

3. Cool it on the abbreviations

Yes, we can’t imagine a world where we have to spell out a whole six-letter word. However, almost 100% of abbreves (get it?) are far too casual for texting professionally. Plus, not everyone knows all of them. (Are they teaching them in school now?) I had to look up lmgtfy in a recent Skillcrush post! Don’t risk coming across as being too much in a rush or too unprofessional to spell out a whole word.

4. Watch your tone

Like any written work communication, watch your tone. It’s hard to communicate emphasis and emotion with words alone (and trust us, emoticons and emoji are not going to help in your work texts!). Reread a text before you send it, or even ask a colleague or friend to do a quick check if it’s going to a boss or client. Do you sound angry or like you are kidding? Are you being clear? Writing in complete sentences always helps, even though you may feel a little bit more formal. Better safe than sorry!

5. Look at texting as a complement to other communication

Don’t look at texting as your main communication tool, even though it may be the easiest and most comfortable for you. Ricci wrote, “As of now, I look at text messaging as a complement, not a substitute for the phone. It can really be best used as a “warm up” introduction inviting a phone call.” For example, send someone a text after you have sent a big follow up document to let them know that the email is in their inbox!

Ricci also advocates tracking your effectiveness using text messaging, the same way you track effectiveness of email newsletters or social media outreach. “I also believe if you are going to start using text messaging in business development then you need to start tracking the efficiency of it. How many texts do you send per day? How many responses do you get?  How many calls did you warm up or meetings did you book using that text language? Then compare it to your dialing efficiency, emailing efficiency or other ways of reaching out to potential clients.”

So, when is texting appropriate?

If your messages is urgent or short and sweet, you’ve usually got the green light to text away. Let’s just hope no “damn you auto correct” episodes get in the way of your pristine texting etiquette!

Get Our Free Ultimate Guide to Coding for Beginners

Get Our Free Ultimate Guide to Coding for Beginners

Make a plan for learning the tech skills you need to land a new job with this 60+ page FREE ebook!

Your email address will not be published.



  1. Marcela Navin Replied

    Excellent article! We will be linking to this great article on our site.Keep up the good writing.

  2. Stacy Deidrick Replied

    Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give one thing back and aid others such as you helped me.

  3. Wilda Tousignant Replied

    Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.I will remember to bookmark your blog and may come back in the foreseeable future. I want to encourage that you continue your great job, have a nice day!

  4. protez saç Replied

    I usually follow this kind of subject. In the form of a nice chat, the question is answered. I think it’s successful.

  5. Gael Van Replied

    My personal experience with NU car hire company in Las Vegas was indeed exceptional. The rates for Vans were competitive and the customer service was great. They worked in a timely fashion with high professionalism. So, I am totally confident, that being in USA I will try them again!

  6. partes de lavadoras en venta philadelphia Replied

    Al realizar una devolución que está en plazo, el vendedor tiene derecho a verificar el equipo y en caso de no estar en orden ver cualquier anomalía, remitirlo a servicio técnico para que evalúen si ha sufrido algún daño no cubierto por garantía. Entonces, yo toda cabreada, llamo otravez al Servicio de Atencion al Cliente pese a sus costes, y hablando con otra amable señorita le cuento mi problema y esta al igual que su compañera no dejaba de insistir en que no anulara mi pedido que seguro que me llegaria pornto. Efectivamente el vale del 5 que se acumula por la compra de producto técnico SALE con la siguiente compra NO ES QUE SEA VÁLIDA PARA LA SIGUIENTE COMPRA”.

  7. Daniel Minasian Replied

    I saw a lot of website but I think this one holds something extra in it in it

  8. Deedee Cassaundra Replied

    If you are looking to improve your traffic from youtube, youtube video is one of the best traffic source. Getting to the front page of Youtube isn’t very hard at all. It’s easier than getting on the front page of Google, depending on the keywords you target of course. Buying YouTube views can increase CTA. Driving more traffic can make you earn better if your video has more likes, positive comments, and views, it definitely entices organic views to click on links and annotations. If you are worried about ROI then it better to buy YouTube views to rank your video and find more subscriber to your channel, this can drive huge organic traffic to your official website, where there is a chance of promotion and sale of your service or products.

    • Tracy Replied

      what if you are texting  your district manager whom you have only met twice not to mention he was suppose to email me last week and I have not received such email. That is the reason for the text. what do you suggest? 

      • Nikki Replied

        I suggest sending him a reminder that you did not hear from him regarding whatever the issue he was to email you about and you would like to discuss it at his earliest convenience

      • Teiya Replied

        With the bases loaded you struck us out with that anwser!

      • sara Replied

        what about if I’m writing to a labours to check if they would be available for next day. but need it to be professional and forward on the same time

Want more articles like this?

Sign up to get the most recent tech news, tips and career advice.