Email Etiquette in our 24/7 World
My friend, Peggy Dolane, writer and social media expert , suggested I write a blog post about our 24/7-reachable-anytime-world. She wondered what the etiquette is about sending and responding to emails after hours. Good question Peggy.
Growing up, I was told to never call anyone after 9pm. That rule still holds true. I actually tend to cut the time off at 8:30 unless I know the person well and know they don’t mind. But, that’s the phone. Email is less intrusive. People can choose to ignore an email until business hours and that is perfectly acceptable.
However, it is rude for a sender to expect people to respond to email after business hours. Unless you have told someone they can contact you after hours, business hours must be respected. This holds true for business owners and those in the corporate world. While employees may be salaried, it does not mean a colleague or manager can expect an employee to read their emails over the weekend. I know, this probably goes against many in the fast paced tech industry, but people need time to rest and relax.
It’s important we “unplug” from email and other work related digital devises after business hours. Americans aren’t very good about relaxing. We tend to eschew taking our vacation time and we work all the time. I believe that is contributing to how unhealthy we are as a society. We need time to unwind and connect with family and friends. When we do take a vacation, isn’t it interesting that when you return to work people almost always say “you look so rested”? It’s because working all the time makes us stressed out and it shows on our faces.
So Peggy, go ahead and respond to or send email after hours if you must, but don’t expect others to do the same. Non-business hours should be respected.
Readers, what are your thoughts on this? Have you been asked to be at the ready and respond to emails after business hours? If so, how do you feel about this? Are you someone who sends emails after hours and expects them to be answered? I’d love to hear what you think.
Please note: We have a new method of delivering blog posts to your inbox. If you have previously received these blog posts through Feedburner, please subscribe to receive these blog posts through the form below and unsubscribe to the posts you receive through Feedburner.