Do You Send Or Answer Work Email When You’re Off the Clock? (Survey)

2019 will be the year I learned this lesson.  When I first started working here at the Eagle I would happily, gleefully send co-workers (and my boss) email at all hours of the day, night, weekends.  I was blissfully unaware.

The funny thing is, I would never do that to someone on vacation.  I guess that’s where I draw the line.  A past employer happily, gleefully sent email, text and even called me while I was on vacation.  (Only 2 of those were actual vacations. Usually it was just “time off” but I’m getting away from the story here.)

A client of ours called me at about 7 pm one week night.  We chatted and all was well.  The next day I mentioned this to a boss and it opened the conversation.  He never mentioned it before because he did not want to squash my enthusiasm, but…. Yeah he was asking me to stop emailing him at 9 pm, 10 pm 1 am, weekends.

My defense was always the same and I swear it’s true.  I NEVER meant for anyone to reply.  NEVER.  I was just checking that communication off my to do list.

My boss educated my about that “draw” people feel even if they know a response isn’t needed right away.  There’s also something to be said for zapping someone away from their down time and getting them all “worked up” about work again.

None of that had ever occurred to me.

So here’s what I do.  I send that same email to myself.  Yep, I write the full email with attachments and I just send it to Jaddams@MaxMediaVA.com.  There’s something satisfying about seeing a whole batch of unopened email in your inbox.  It’s proof you got a lot done.

YouGov.com did a poll asking this question and honestly, I had no idea it was so rare.  I assumed 75% of people sent and replied to email outside work hours.  Nope!

Every Day 28%

Few times a week 16%

Once a week or less 14%

NEVER 12%

Well I’m glad I finally learned that lesson.  You need your down time!

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