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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.

ForalltheSaints Thu 07-Mar-19 20:44:04

It happens from some people at my workplace, given the option for sometimes working from home and work smartphones. What concerns me is that some people are doing this when they should be asleep or just not thinking about work, and the impact on their mental health this could bring.

VelvetPineapple Thu 07-Mar-19 20:50:06

I don’t see why it matters when people email, as long as you aren’t expected to reply outside of office hours. DH works for an international company and regularly gets emails from other time zones.

Cherrysoup Thu 07-Mar-19 20:50:34

We have a curfew system for weekends/holidays. No emails til 5pm on Sunday. I guess so people can relax and not see work emails pop up. Personally, I have to log into work emails but some have it on their phones. I think they’re mad, we’re not saving lives or anything.

WishIwas19again Thu 07-Mar-19 20:55:33

There were open debates about this in my previous workplace (public sector). Even if you are not expected to reply, it is stressful to start your working day opening up lots of emails sent overnight so you spend time playing catch up straight away. Also can result in people feeling they have to stay ahead of the game and respond out of hours, or follow suit for appearances sake then before you know it the whole culture has changed. On the other hand flexible working is a good thing for wellbeing and retention. It was agreed that senior managers (who at that time were the only ones permitted to work from home and have the IT/BlackBerry to do so) would put delayed send on their emails to stagger their receipt within the first hour or so of the working day (unless it was urgent). Suited everyone.

Pinkprincess1978 Thu 07-Mar-19 21:10:38

I have no problem with it and also email at all hours. I don't expect a reply. If people don't want to work they don't have to open and look at an email.

LaurieMarlow Thu 07-Mar-19 21:17:24

Perfectly normal to email whenever it suits. No expectation to reply outside of normal hours (though I’ve worked in international environments where it was definitely worth it to keep an eye on email when projects were at key stages).

In one job, the boss decided to put ‘boundaries’ on emailing times because that was a trendy thing to do. So he decided we couldn’t email before 7am or after 8pm. hmm.

Such great work life balance there, thanks a fucking bunch.

SellFridges Thu 07-Mar-19 21:21:09

Normal in my company. I’ve just looked and I’ve had an email from my bosses bosses boss. She wouldn’t expect me to reply though. Some days I would reply, some I wouldn’t.

In fact, some members of our team have started putting a note on their signature saying something like “we work flexibly so you may receive this email outside of your working hours. There’s no pressure to respond until you are working”.

ByStarlight Thu 07-Mar-19 21:22:41

Even if you are not expected to reply, it is stressful to start your working day opening up lots of emails sent overnight so you spend time playing catch up straight away.

But that only depends on the culture and expectations of your organization. Same as some PPs, I work for an international company and am involved in global projects with key stakeholders in Asia and the US. Along with most of my European colleagues, every day involves opening an inbox of at least 20 emails that were sent from colleagues in other regions during their working hours while we were asleep. It’s not a big deal, just the inevitable result of working with people in different time zones. People also don’t expect instant replies either, as they understand that our working day will begin when theirs has ended.

LaurieMarlow Thu 07-Mar-19 21:33:22

Even if you are not expected to reply, it is stressful to start your working day opening up lots of emails sent overnight so you spend time playing catch up straight away.

In the nicest possible way, this is a very public sector way of looking at things.

SarahSnowdrop Thu 07-Mar-19 21:41:01

I think when you work in a global company and people are working across different timezones, emails are flying around 24 hours a day. I thought this was the norm to be honest. My email traffic is insane but

I do glance through my email before bed and first thing in the morning for peace of mind more than anything. I don't like surprises! However, I rarely reply unless I feel it is absolutely necessary as I don't want to set an expectation that I am available 24/7. 99.9% of emails can wait. Nothing about my job is life or death.

If you work in an old fashioned company, get ten emails a day then the boss emailing you at 11pm at night might stress you out.

ASauvignonADay Thu 07-Mar-19 21:44:38

Work in education and get emails at all hours. Including middle of the night from SLT occasionally! I guess it's personal decision to have work emails on your phone and if you do, I think it'd be unreasonable to moan about it.

ASauvignonADay Thu 07-Mar-19 21:45:16

(No one expects a reply out of work hours though, In fact my boss would comment if I was to reply to too many out of work or late at night)

IncrediblySadToo Thu 07-Mar-19 21:57:43

What concerns me is that some people are doing this when they should be asleep or just not thinking about work, and the impact on their mental health this could bring

Why are you concerning yourself with how other adults choose to work? You’re not their Mammy.

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