Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Don’t Send Business Email After Working Hours

Be Courteous About When You Send Emails and Text Messages.

This is a simple request on behalf of employees everywhere who have their evenings and weekends disturbed by emails and texts from bosses and sometimes from coworkers or colleagues: Please don’t do that, unless it’s an emergency.  Wait until working hours and let people enjoy their time away from work. While you’re at it, put your non-emergency work away and enjoy your life, too.  

I’ve had to learn that lesson myself. I do a lot of emailing in the evening, which wasn’t a problem when email only was accessed from computers at work. But several years ago I realized I was getting responses at all hours from people who heard the little email or text chime on their phone, were interrupted or awakened anyway and decided to answer right then. They weren’t obligated to respond, but the fact was that my message was an intrusion.

Worse is when an employee is home and the text or email is of the variety that starts with, “See me about this!” Or, “Why is this being done this way??” After one or two of those in a weekend, the fun is over.

The bottom line: Unless the situation is such an emergency that the employee must be awakened, stopped from having dinner, or interrupted while relaxing, write the message and save it in drafts to send the moment their working hours start.

Yes, yes, I know there are exceptions and time differences and problems with remembering drafts and all of that, but you understand the idea: Show some respect for those to whom you’re sending an email or text. If it’s after their working hours, it’s the wrong time to send it.  They’ll appreciate you when they hear everyone else complaining and they realize the people they work with are much more courteous than that.

October 21st, 2012 Posted by | Life and Work, Personal and Professional Development | 8 comments