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Work email etiquette

(63 Posts)
JazzyBBG Thu 07-Mar-19 18:57:28

Interested for views... in my company totally normal for people to email late at night, on weekends etc. You don't have to reply but people email.

Talking about this with some friends who said in their companies this would be totally unacceptable and they were shocked it still goes on, their company culture would be against it. So interested to know what is normal for people. Me and my husband both work all hours and with rise in flexible working I would have thought this was normal.
We are all UK based.

ElloBrian Thu 07-Mar-19 18:59:20

Entirely depends on the nature of the company and the job. Your question is therefore too vague to be meaningful.

knitandpearl Thu 07-Mar-19 19:00:58

I would occasionally email internal colleagues at night but not expect anyone to read it until normal office hours.
If I needed to email externally I'd usually set a delivery time for early next morning as I think it looks a bit unprofessional to be emailing at all hours - different work fields world have different cultures though.

PinkBuffalo Thu 07-Mar-19 19:01:41

I work somewhere where there's 24hr shift work. You get emails at all sorts of odd times! That's why we use email mostly instead of phoning

SunnySomer Thu 07-Mar-19 19:02:51

Normal in my organisation- but the operational bits of it are in operation 24/7, so for some staff late evening is a quiet time in the working day. No expectation of an immediate response though.

HomeMadeMadness Thu 07-Mar-19 19:05:24

Totally normal everywhere I've worked. People sometimes stay late and will send emails when others have gone home. I can't see why it would be a problem unless you expected an immediate response.

Sparklesocks Thu 07-Mar-19 19:05:26

It depends on the type of job and individual office I think. My boss is very senior to me (makes much more money!) and tends to email at all hours - late nights, weekends etc. And that’s also partly because he’s a ‘write it down or I’ll forget’ type person, so sometimes if he has a brainwave he will shoot off an email about it to me. However he doesn’t expect me to reciprocate, he’s fine for me to look at them/reply in normal office hours.

AmIRightOrAMeringue Thu 07-Mar-19 19:07:39

I don't think it's best practice as it can lead to stress - it can make employees feel like they've always got to be 'on' and if your boss emails late at night, there can be a pressure felt to respond then, even if there is no expectation from that boss. It implies you need to work all hours to get ahead. It doesn't really promote a healthy work life balance. In my company it used to happen when blackberries first came out, I think people felt that because they could do it, they should. However they have deliberately cut back, unless it's urgent, people tend to catch up on emails offline and send them the next morning, to promote the culture of a healthier work life balance. Healthy employees who are less stressed are ultimately better for the company

Bayleyf Thu 07-Mar-19 19:07:39

Normal to email out of hours for me. No one expects a reply till morning, though.

I really like being able to work when suits me, not an arbitrary 9-5. For instance I sometimes leave early so I can swim when the pool is quieter, and catch up after dinner.

notacooldad Thu 07-Mar-19 19:08:14

I can work up to 12.00pm and also Saturday and Sundays. So I send emails as needed.i may ot be able to reply to them if needed because I could be off Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as its my' weekend!
As long as everyone ha the relevant information by when they are supposed to it's fine.

Fluffyears Thu 07-Mar-19 19:08:20

I never read e-mails outside the office. I used to have a manager who would work during the weekend and send me a massive e-mail on a Sunday then call me at 9.01 on a Monday to discuss.....let me read it and look up what you are yammering about.

PettyContractor Thu 07-Mar-19 19:08:39

You don't have to reply but people email.

Why does it matter when people email? You don't have to to read email until you choose to, or even receive an alert so you know it exists.

If the first you become aware of the existence of an email is at the start of the next period of work, then why does it matter when it was sent?

whycantIthinkofadecentusername Thu 07-Mar-19 19:08:54

Normal for us. Some aspects of the organisation work 24/7, some don't. I may or may not have to work 24/7 if there is an incident.

It totally depends on the situation. I have emailed late at night to my team via my phone as I've been thinking about something. I certainly do not expect a reply from them unless we are in an incident and they are working.

TulipsTulipsTulips Thu 07-Mar-19 19:10:10

Normal to email at all hours. I prefer not to reply after 9 pm but will do if it’s marked urgent.

wasabiaddiction Thu 07-Mar-19 19:10:40

Normal where I work.

I was late in on Tuesday as I was having my hair cut.

So very happy to receive and sometimes respond to mails in the evening.

If you want flexibility you have to give flexibility back.

itbemay1 Thu 07-Mar-19 19:12:22

I sent, receive and reply to emails in the evening and at the weekend. Totally normal, if I'm busy I don't reply and I never expect a reply eves or weekends. It is a choice to look at emails.

BasinHaircut Thu 07-Mar-19 19:15:54

There is a growing trend amount the more senior people where I work of emailinng at all hours/the weekend.

I personally don’t think it’s appropriate. It adds a pressure for tothers to be doing similar and is not good for morale. Agree it looks a bit scrappy and unprofessional to email externally out of hours too.

I point blank refuse to work evenings and weekends unless there is an actual crisis which needs attending to.

I often say that nothing that arrives by email after 5pm is urgent enough to need attention before 9am and I don’t get paid enough to even open it.

PettyContractor Thu 07-Mar-19 19:16:31

The people that think email sending needs to be controlled have the wrong etiquette. They don't understand that emails are not wordy texts/instant messages, they are fast memos/letters. Texts/instant messages have always alerted the recipient on arrival, emails were a replace for post that was dealt with at the recipients convenience.

Shuffletrufflepig Thu 07-Mar-19 19:17:52

Normal where I work too. My role has changed slightly now but I used to receive phone calls at 10pm at night from my boss and once a week I used to stay in the office til sometimes gone midnight after having started at 8am. Bonus time it was always reflected. Totally normal to receive emails at odd hours or weekend.

Thisisnotadrill Thu 07-Mar-19 19:19:16

On a Leadership course we were told that it’s not good to email out of hours as employees will feel pressure to work out of hours too (normal office hours job).

It was suggested if you must write them at all you leave them in your outbox until “work hours”.

feelingsinister Thu 07-Mar-19 19:20:00

In my experience, the people who do this want to be seen to be putting the hours in. It's not the done thing in my current profession and would be a cause for concern.

Arowana Thu 07-Mar-19 19:20:04

Where I work we have a policy about flexible working. It specifically states that it is acceptable to email people outside normal office hours but anyone receiving an email should not feel they have to respond.

Personally I rarely check my work email after I've left the office.

SherlockSays Thu 07-Mar-19 19:20:20

Public sector IT organisation and whilst it may happen, it is frowned upon and they make a real effort to ensure that people have a good work/life balance - if you email at night and even more so on a weekend, fully expect to not get a reply until the next working day and for that reply to be 'why the hell were you thinking and emailing about work?!'

TedAndLola Thu 07-Mar-19 19:20:36

Normal for senior staff. Even we're not expected to check emails or reply out of hours, though I do when my projects are in important stages.

CMOTDibbler Thu 07-Mar-19 19:21:11

I work in an international team, so its totally normal for me. Everyone replies in their timezone, but I do some evening emails as head office don't even start till 5pm my time, and one of my engineering teams are only just getting into their stride then. Much easier to deal with at least some stuff in real time

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