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Manager sending work messages on weekend(23 Posts)
I returned to work in September on a part time 3 day basis. It's local government office work dealing with run of the mill stuff so no urgent life and death stuff. Either the culture has changed since I've been away or I have, but a manager thinks it's ok to use what's app to message staff about work matters at weekends. I've noticed other colleagues sending e-mails over weekend. I object to being contacted and I object to the acceptance of people working beyond their contracted hours. It creates unnecessary pressure (on me!) to try and keep up. I'm tempted to raise it in team meeting, will I look like a workshy stickybeak?!
I'd just ignore them. How are you noticing the emails though? Are you logging into your work account?
My take on it;
1. The means of communication I.e whatsapp is unprofessional.
2. I would raise it to my manager alone and not in a team meeting
3. I would concentrate on the subject matter, keep it factual rather than asking about the culture. Why was that communication necessary out of working hours.
4. Do the employees need to provide you with mobile/ laptop if communication at weekend is important. ( you could ask)
5. Can the hours spent working be reclaimed in lieu.
I would approach it as if the topic was necessary to be communicated and you are trying to work on a solution so that this very important work can be handled in work hours.
If you go in asking about culture and why certain people are emailing outside of hours they will respond very defensively whereas if you ask them to explain about the importance of the work it migh t go better. Just my opinion but Completely agree whatsapp completely inappropriate.
DH and i sit either side of the fence on this. He's with you and feels pressured by it. I think if they choose to work thats fine. If you choose not to thats fine too.
Have you been pressurised to answer or just feel pressurised too?
DH's issue is emails. Now he just doesn't check emails over the weekend and deals on a Monday.
And surely the manager isn't allowed to talk about work on Whatsapp.
Block him on Whatsapp and don't read your emails over the weekend. If he then brings up the subject of why he can't contact you then say that you read your emails on Monday-Friday basis only. Don't raise the subject at all unless he does...
I think it's okay to send emails/messages whenever you want to tbh - the only issue is if your boss is expecting you to read them and respond in your non working time.
I would just ignore them and if he says anything then I would say that I don't do work stuff at weekends (unless it was a one off emergency).
No need to get into it with him just yet because presumably no one has actually expected you to work outside of contracted time.
I would raise it in terms of questioning the security of Whatsapp, and it being inappropriate to discuss work-related things on that sort of media. Even if it's not life and death stuff, there's probably still an element of confidentiality, and I would be deeply unimpressed if anyone at work were discussing work-related stuff on Whatsapp.
Also, I'd refuse to give anyone any email address except my work one. Probably too late for that though - you should still be able to filter any emails from *@mycouncil.gov.uk, though, and automatically stick them in a folder you don't read. Or at least don't read out of work hours.
I know crap about WhatsAp; can you just ignore it or deal with it when you are ready?
Flexitime means sometimes I (& others) work on weekends & take a day off in the week in lieu. I like this, I don't want to have to save up email replies for only usual work days.
Folk where I work are amazing masters of ignoring emails, though, so really there's only small pressure attached to any message except maybe from HoD.
With the emails I resent coming in to work and having a backlog of messages caused by weekend emailing. I feel like it's already a struggle to do everything in three days, and even harder dealing with people creating work over seven days. I like teddycats approach, will try that. Other colleagues have whinged about it, some ignore what's app others feel like they can't. I ignore.
What a nightmare
Can you whatsapp back each time (on your working day) 'can you send this to my work email instead please'
I also work in local govt. we'd be severely criticised for using whatsapp. I'd stick with playing catch up and not be pressured by this stuff
Why does weekend emailing make more work for you? I don't get it, if you just deal with them when you expect to deal with them, how do you end up with more work over all. Do they send you twice as many messages if they also send on weekends?
I'd be delighted over the moon if I could get some replies on weekends. Any replies, weekends or not, would be great.
My view is that it's ok but you don't have to respond.
It really depends if it's a job or career - if it's a career you are paid to do a role not contracted hours if it's a job and you don't care about a career contracted hours it is.
Tbh if any employee of mine or in my company referred to 'contracted hours' they probably would be seen as engaged in their work and probably wouldn't last long. Btw I love my work
I would definitely challenge the use of WhatsApp, I'm sure it's not secure enough to discuss council matters! It's too instantaneous for non-urgent work communication. Then with emails just say you will read them in work time when you are paid to work...
Before I start a scandal the messages are more a case of "have you finished the minutes of that meeting", not discussing confidential matters - still out of order tho.
I can't put my finger on why weekend email bothers me so much. Partly cos it creates work for me, but yes if I didn't get it on Saturday I'd probably get in on Monday anyway. It's partly cos it's not a level playing field. Even if I wanted to join in the weekend work I couldn't due to demands of small baby. The pre baby me was more career focused and would work however late it took to get things done. I don't have that flexibility now, eg I have to leave meetings before they end to collect baby from nursery etc. No one's given me a hard time about it, but I worry I'll be less valued cos of it.
It's definitely a thing in LG and NHS type jobs now. DH works across both and I get so pissed off with him answering his work emails on 'my' time! He looks at emails on Sunday nights and clears most of them- as irrelevant- as he feels he prefers to start Monday with a clear plate as it were. I think you could bang on your email signature ' I work xxxxday and xxxxday. I only check work emails on those days. If you have an urgent need to speak to someone on other days, please contact Bill on xxxxxx
In (Central) Govt talking about work on personal social media or email would definitely result in disciplinary action. After all, public servants have a responsibility to protect information, particularly personal data. Contacting staff on social media is iffy anyway as can cause all sorts of bullying / harassment issues. As for generally working on weekend, does manager expect action immediately? Maybe they are just trying to get on top of workload and issue orders accordingly. If they expect weekend working on local govt salary I would definitely push back somehow.
PS it doesn't matter if it's just mentioning the minutes of a meeting. The fact the meeting took place and who is drafting the minutes is likely of value to someone. The manager needs a basic education in protecting info. What if it was about your LA's civil contingency plan? That could be of use to terrorists. Or a child's case conference?
I think there are 2 sep questions.
WhatsApp (which i love for family news and photos is not really approp for your sort of work. Just leave the group.
E-mails - I don't mind when anyone sends me an e-mail. Indeed i positively encourage people to email rather than phone me just because we can each answer them when it suits us to work. As long as they are going in to your work email address only, then its not an issue as far as i am concerned (and i don't work Mondays so always start my week with a load of emails). If you think your emails are getting clogged up with a load of unnecessary emails, then raise that as an issue as that is a valid point, not the fact that you are concerned to have a lot of emails when you start your working week.
I understand your discomfort completely. It's as if there's an expectation there that, by not responding, you're not as dedicated as everyone else. It's the electronic equivalent of staying in the office after working hours, which I hated just as much in my first office job.
Personally, I switch off my work email and clear my in-box from the dross Monday morning. (If I do any work after hours, I save emails as drafts ready to send in working hours.) I know it's hard, but remember you can prove your worth by the quality of your work, not just in eagerly responding to every email at whatever ungodly hour it's sent.
As for the what's app, I'd block them and have ready an excuse - perhaps that you heard it was insecure, so you decided to not risk your confidential work matters.
We have an email policy where I work. The idea is no emails after 5 or weekends unless it's life or death. It seems to work most of the time.
Go to the group chat and Mute it for the weekend. No notifications then. I would hate it
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