Stop Sending Emails After Hours

by Lorrie Ray

Bulletin,  Retention

Managers who send emails to employees when something occurs to them so they won’t forget to let the employee know are likely aggravating these employees. This is because employees often feel compelled to respond even after work hours. Managers may assume that the employee won’t read the email until they begin work, but the emails pop up on their cellphones just like they do on the manager’s phone.

When I sent late-night emails, my co-workers would try gentle hints, such as “you were working late last night!” The hints didn’t work. Finally, a brave soul taught me how to send timed emails, so those late-night emails were not delivered until at least 8 a.m. I also started sending emails to myself, so I could forward them to others the following workday.

Managers and others can use the timing feature to send emails when they are most likely to be read by the recipient. If someone is out of the office, an email timed to arrive the day after the employee is back in the office may have a quicker response, as they will have had a full workday to delete, sort, and mark their emails.

In fact, marketers who have tracked when the emails they send are opened have learned that mid-week and midday emails have the highest open rate. Generally, times to avoid are early morning, close to or after 5:00 p.m., and during the lunch hour.

This is one example of how a minor change in a routine practice can contribute to a more productive and harmonious workplace. If you want to learn about small positive changes other Employers Council members have made, try posting a question in theĀ open forum in Member Central.

About the author
Lorrie Ray

Lorrie's experience in the variety of problems typically facing employers includes resolution of civil rights cases before state and federal administrative agencies, federal wage and hour disputes and state law claims, employment discrimination, wrongful discharge and health and safety laws. She is also a frequent lecturer on employment law matters. Previous to working at Employers Council, Lorrie worked at the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Solicitor for a little over three years, prosecuting wage and hour cases for the Department.