How To Write a Report for Work (With Examples)
Updated July 21, 2023
Business reports are often a common part of many peoples' work responsibilities. There are several types of work reports that you may be required to write, including daily work reports, sales reports and analyses. While there is no set format for writing work reports, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you compose the most effective and professional report possible.
In this article, we'll discuss what a work report is, how to write an efficient report, a work report template and examples for when you draft your own.
What is a work report?
A work report is a formal document that discusses information about a specific topic related to an aspect of your job. Most work reports are addressed to a particular audience, such as a manager. Depending on the type of work report, you may be given a report brief that outlines what you should include in your report. Most reports should be written in a structured format to clearly demonstrate what the report is trying to convey.
How to write a work report
Writing effective work reports takes practice and requires good communication skills. The more reports you write, the more efficient you will be in composing them. The following are steps you can take to write a professional report in the workplace:
1. Identify your audience
Knowing who will be reading your report is an important step in determining how to format it, what to include and the tone you should use when writing it. For example, if you are writing a sales report for your manager, will anyone else be reading it? If you're composing a business analysis report, will your higher-ups be reading the report or only your immediate supervisor? Establish who will be reading your report and cater the report to these specific people.
Related: 13 Examples of Tone in Writing
2. Decide which information you will include
After determining who your audience is, you should focus on identifying the purpose of your report to decide what information should be included. If you know who will be reading the report, you could ask questions regarding what they expect to see. Choose to include information that will provide the clearest picture of what you are trying to convey.
For example, if you're writing a sales report, it may need to include information about whether sales goals are being met, products and services that are selling the most, challenges you or your team are facing and your sales forecast for the next month or quarter.
3. Structure your report
When writing a report, you should structure it so that it can be easily read and digested. While each report will vary in the sections you should include, you can use the following report components as a guide when writing your report:
Title or title page
Executive summary/abstract that briefly describes the content of your report
Table of contents (if the report is more than a few pages)
An introduction describing your purpose in writing the report
A body with the details of what has been accomplished on the project and the next steps
Conclusion or recommendation depending on the purpose of the report
4. Use concise and professional language
You should strive to use clear and concise language when writing your report. Try to get the point across as clearly and quickly as possible and use simple yet professional language. Avoid using "fluff" or wordy sentences when possible. For example, rather than saying, "You might find it helpful to regularly refresh your inbox to stay up-to-date on emails," you could say, "Regularly refresh your inbox."
5. Proofread and edit your report
Proofreading your work report is an essential step in the report-writing process. This gives you the opportunity to ensure your writing is as professional as possible and to catch any mistakes before you send it out. Proofreading also allows you to cut out any unnecessary information and make sure your report is as efficient and effective as possible.
Once you have finished writing your report, set it aside for an hour or more before you proofread it. This will allow you to look at the report in a fresh way and catch mistakes you may not have seen before.
Work report template
The following is a template you can use when formatting a work report:
Prepared by: [your first and last name]
[Executive summary or abstract: Use this section to note your conclusions or recommendations that will be made in the report. You should also include the most important ideas discussed in the report. If you're writing a daily work report or progress report, you do not need to include this section.]
[Introduction: Use two to four paragraphs to summarize what you will cover in the report as well as your reason for writing the report. Be as specific and concise as possible so the reader can clearly understand what they will find in your report. For daily or progress reports, your introduction only needs to be a few sentences detailing work you've completed and what you plan to work on next.]
[Body: Include results, conclusions and findings related to the project. For daily or progress reports, include the accomplishments you have achieved or tasks you have completed.]
Tasks to be completed by [completion date]
[List the specific tasks you intend to complete as you continue work on the project. For example, you may write "Spend one hour training employees on the new handbook each week."]
[Conclusion: Conclude your report by summarizing the findings or results discussed and reiterating the most important recommendations. Mention any problems you foresee that may hinder project completion.]
To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.
Work report example
The following is an example of a work report you can use as a guide when writing your own report in the workplace:
November 5, 2023
Prepared by: Sally Smith
This report is to provide an update on the handbook project that is due on December 5. This project will result in the creation of a new employee handbook that will include updated rules and regulations as well as the approved increase of paid time off. This handbook will increase employee awareness of workplace expectations as well as inform them of the new benefits that have recently been implemented.
As of this date, I have completed the following for the handbook project:
Verified all information that will be in the handbook with upper management and HR
Drafted a table of contents
Formatted layout of handbook
Composed the first 12 pages of the handbook
Tasks to be completed by November 12, 2023:
Compose five more pages of the handbook
Proofread and edit all pages that have been completed up to this date
Have the manager of HR read the handbook content to ensure accuracy
The handbook project is on track to be completed by the scheduled date. This project currently has no obvious obstacles or issues, but if they should arise they will be promptly addressed.
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