Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Don’t send someone an email at a time you wouldn’t call them on the phone.

This blog post raises an interesting point. The author argues that "you may be happy to clean out your inbox and get ahead of the game, but it’s not fair to the recipients (especially if they report to you). You take away their right to enjoy the full vacation/weekend by yanking them back into work concerns. You’re stealing their attention that should be devoted to personal and family enjoyment."

On one hand, I see his point. My husband is the kind of person who feels like he must respond to every e-mail or text the moment he gets it. Even if we are at dinner or on a ride at Disney World. I must admit, I find this highly irritating. I sent many e-mails out last week because I had time to work, but a lot of people had the week off and so while I didn't expect a response for several days - did my e-mail get overlooked because they glanced at it on their iPhone and by the time they were back in the office 3-5 days later it was lost in their in-box?

On the other hand, one of the reasons I like working for myself is that I keep an unorthodox schedule. I work from the time my son goes off to school at 8am till the time he comes home at 3:30pm. Then I take a break for a few hours; help him with his homework, get him a snack, make dinner, we watch a little football or Biggest Loser and when he goes to bed at 9pm, I get back on the computer and work a few more hours. So, it's not uncommon for me to be sending out e-mails at midnight.

So, I'm torn on this author's opinion... what do you think? Does getting an e-mail in off-hours bother you? Do you feel this only applies if you are the boss sending your employees a message? Discuss.