Are We Slaves to Email?


I’ve always said that smartphones have made our lives easier….we can check in with others, with email, and other things at any time, anywhere. From a work standpoint, I’ve appreciated the ability to be able to check in with emails to see if anyone needs anything while I’m on the road or in meetings.


But, is it going too far? Are people so “turned on to technology” that work hours have been blurred? It’s possible.


A recent study was conducted by Right Management, statistics revealed that 9% of employees are contacted by their employer via email while on vacation, and another 6% are contacted via email on weekends. After hours emails seem to be a rising trend as well:


email chart



I think in part it’s a result of technology, and the other part is the nature of work – more people are working remotely and those that work from home feel tied to their work because there’s no clear distinction between work and home.


As an employee, you may feel like you have to respond to an off hours email from your boss, even though your boss may not be expecting it. As a boss, you may work off hours or want to catch up from a busy day, and get things crossed off your list, so you’re sending emails that you’re not expecting a response to, yet you may be giving off the perception that you’re expecting your staff to work when they’re not working.


With all of these factors in place, it’s a good idea to set the boundaries earlier rather than later so there are no issues, resentment, misunderstandings, or even employee burnout. Keeping the lines of communication open is important; email etiquette is no different.


How does this play into your company? How do you handle work issues/emails outside of your work hours? We’d love to hear from you!


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