Before you write “fellow colleagues” in your email, you should check whether it’s correct to do so.
We’re here to help you, though. We’ve got all the information you could possibly need to know to determine whether “fellow colleagues” is correct.
Is It Correct to Say “Fellow Colleagues”?
“Fellow colleagues” is grammatically correct, but it is not idiomatic. It’s an informal phrase which is redundant because “fellow” changes nothing about “colleagues” meaning. You should instead write “colleagues” because it means people you work alongside. “Fellow” and “colleague” both mean someone in the same position as you.
“Fellow colleagues” might look like correct English, but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. Most formal writers will tell you to avoid it. It is redundant, meaning that nothing of value is added to the email when it’s used.
- Dear fellow colleagues,
- I would like to discuss these matters with you.
- All the best,
- To all my fellow colleagues,
- Have you got any ideas that might help us solve these issues?
These email examples establish the problem with “fellow colleagues” quite well. The main problem comes from the wordiness of the email introduction. When using “dear” or “to,” you should try and use fewer words to address the people you want to read the email.
Remove “fellow” in all cases where “colleagues” is more appropriate. Follow that rule, and you’ll have a much better time with it.
Now that we’ve seen that “fellow colleagues” is correct but inappropriate, you should learn about some alternatives. These will give you more options that work better than “fellow colleagues.” We’ve gathered some suggestions on what to say instead of “fellow colleagues.”
Other Ways to Say “Fellow Colleagues”
Other ways to say “fellow colleagues” are “colleagues,” “fellows,” and “team.” These are the most appropriate professional synonyms. They show you are addressing your colleagues or people who are in the same position or on the same level as you. They show togetherness and equality when used.
“Colleagues” is the best example of how to say “fellow colleagues” professionally. It’s a simple fix, but it greatly changes your emails. Removing the redundant “fellow” is the first step you need to take to ensure you get it right.
“Colleagues” still addresses all the people you work with. You can use this to introduce an email you send to multiple people who work alongside you. It shows you are all on the same level rather than you being above them (i.e. “employees” would show superiority over them).
- Dear colleagues,
- I am touched that you were able to come to the event yesterday.
- Thank you so much,
“Fellows” works to address multiple people just as “colleagues” does. It’s a fun phrase you can use to show that the people receiving the email are your equals. It works well as another way to say “fellow colleagues” if you’re looking for something more pleasant.
The good thing about “fellows” is that it’s more general. You aren’t limited to using it in the workplace. If you’d rather use it elsewhere (like addressing friends or family), you may do so.
- Dear fellows,
- It’s good to be back. I hope I’ll be able to work closely with you in the future.
- All the best,
“Team” is an inclusive term that works well as a synonym. It shows that you value every recipient of the email equally. Being part of a “team” means that everyone is in equal standing with each other, making this one of the best synonyms.
“Dear team” is a common introduction in emails. It shows you treat everyone equally and want them to see how respectful and polite you are. Using this is great when you care about and respect all the email recipients.
- Dear team,
- I am writing this email to let you know that you’ve all done a fantastic job.
- Kind regards,
“Coworkers” is an impersonal alternative, but it can work well. You may use it when it’s your first day or week at work, and you haven’t greeted everyone personally. As alternatives go, “coworkers” works best when you aren’t familiar with the people you work with.
“Coworkers” is not a good choice when you do know the recipients. It sounds a bit robotic, so most people will be confused if they’ve spoken to you before. “Colleagues” is almost always a better option than “coworkers.”
Still, “coworkers” works better than “fellow colleagues” in terms of conciseness.
- Dear coworkers,
- I’m glad you all got to enjoy your time away. Now, it’s back to work. I can’t wait to hear about your projects.
- All the best,
“Friends” is a great term to include in a greeting. It works much better than “fellow colleagues” and is very inclusive. You should use it when you’re familiar with all the recipients and value them all as your friends.
“Friends” definitely works best informally. You might find success with it formally, but only when you are very close with the team, you work with. “Friends” will not work if you have strict colleagues or bosses who look down on colloquial introductions like “friends.”
- Dear friends,
- I appreciate that things haven’t gone well these last few weeks. I’m doing everything I can to fix that.
- My best,
“Workmates” is a decent choice that falls somewhere in the middle of “coworkers” and “team.” “Workmates” is more personal than “coworkers” but less personal than “team.” This makes it a good choice for people you work with but don’t talk to often.
“Workmates” is a great option if you want to be unique. It’s not often that people greet others with “workmates.” It still shows that you value their input or value them on your team, but it also shows that you haven’t spoken to them enough to greet them as a “fellow” or “friend.”
- Dear workmates,
- Thank you for taking the time to contact me individually about this. I have figured out what to do next.
- Kindest regards,
“Team” is a very popular term in formal emails, so “teammates” sees just as much usage. “Teammates” is an extension of “team” that works well. You may include “mates” after “team” to show that you treat every recipient equally and value their input in the team.
“Teammates” comes with a slightly more personal flair than “team.” Including “mates” shows you value everyone in the email chain as a friend. It’s good when you want people to know you respect and appreciate them.
- Dear teammates,
- You have given me a lot to think about. I’ll let you know when I’ve figured out what my next steps are.
“Associates” is another impersonal option that works in some cases. You should stick to using this one when you don’t know your colleagues well. You may also want to use it as a joke. “Associates” is a robotic term that makes it sound like you’re not working with people.
Some people like the sarcasm that comes with saying “associates,” especially if you get on well with your team. It can be a great introductory phrase in an email when messaging people you’re either completely unfamiliar with or very familiar with (and they get that it’s a joke).
- Dear associates,
- Please let me know if any of you are free to make tomorrow’s meeting. I’d like to discuss these matters with you.
“All” is one of the most popular choices to greet people in a formal email. “All” refers to a group of people you work with without establishing ranks or a hierarchy. You should use it when addressing multiple people who work with you from all different positions.
“Dear all” is a great introduction. It includes everyone relevant to the email, regardless of their position. You can include bosses, colleagues, employees, people from other departments, and all other workers when using “all.”
It’s one of the most inclusive options to use. However, it also happens to be the least personal. “All” removes the personal greeting from a formal email, making it sound like you’re not fond of the recipients.
- Dear all,
- I’m glad you came up with these plans. I have compiled a presentation taking all of your ideas into account.
- Best wishes,
“Everyone” is another popular alternative that works like “all.” You can use “dear everyone” to greet many people at once without specifying their ranks compared to you. It shows that you include everyone in the same group when sending a bulk email.
Like “all,” “everyone” removes personalisation from the phrase. This makes it harder to establish a connection or rapport with the recipients.
Also, “dear everyone” lets people know you’ve sent it to everyone included in the email. Therefore, it might encourage some people not to reply to you because they might think someone else in the group will get around to it.
- Dear everyone,
- Let me know if there’s anything I can do to make this work better in the future.
- All the best,
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.