How many of you were emailing work over the holiday? From what I have read and heard the number of people emailing work late at night or on weekends is over the top effecting both the quality and quantity of life.
Dan had just arrived at home in Columbus, Ohio for the holiday weekend. As soon as he got to his parents’ home, he told them that he had two conference calls and started checking his email on his laptop. Dan’s father was more than a little upset and told Dan, “he might have been better off just staying in Boston”. Welcome to the constantly connected employee.
There are sometimes when you absolutely have to get work done to meet deadlines, but when you’re spending more time with your smartphone and laptop in the evening than unwinding you are in danger of burning out. Employers, for the most part, don’t care and don’t have policies on late night or weekend company emails. This is a huge mistake.
HR managers need to develop policies on the use of company email that takes into consideration the well being of the employee. Late night and weekend emails are a symptom of either too much work or not enough people. Managers who chastise employees for not being available on email during the weekend, holidays or vacation time should be trained on work life balance.
If you’re an employee who gets emails at night or on weekends here are some things you can do:
(1) Don’t answer company emails after a certain time at night. Once you start to answer company emails you’re sliding down a chute into a never ending world of more work during your off time.
(2) Separate work/personal email devices and turn off your work device at a certain time everyday.
(3) Never, check your company email while on vacation. Leave the laptop at home and turn off company email accounts.
(4) Communicate to your team that you will NOT be available during “off” hours.
If you feel that you need to stay on top of email during your off time than you have a bigger problem and should be looking for a new job.