Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Techno-quette => Topic started by: Ceallach on January 20, 2013, 08:07:36 PM

Title: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Ceallach on January 20, 2013, 08:07:36 PM
The nice thing about email is that it doesn't interrupt - a person can get to it and respond when appropriate.   However, I happen to know that a couple of my colleagues (fellow managers) have their phones set so that emails pop up on the screen with an noise alert when they are received, basically like receiving an SMS/Txt message.     Knowing this, is it rude of me to send them emails late at night or on the weekends, or when they're on holiday?    I feel bad "disturbing" them, when I just want to get something off my plate while I remember.  My intention is for them to address it during working hours, I don't need an immediate response.

Personally, I have this feature turned off on my phone - I'm somebody who will check my phone immediately if it rings/beeps and with the high volume of email I get receive (100 per day or so) it would drive me insane to be grabbing the phone that often, it honestly wouldn't be healthy for me.   I admit I do check my emails waaaay more often than I should - I just can't handle seeing that tiny number on the bottom of the screen telling me there is something new to look at!  But because it doesn't alert me, I am only looking when I actually am already using my phone, it's not distracting me at other times.   Plus if I really need a break on the weekend I will turn off the auto download altogether.

So my question is, do I bear any responsibility for emailing at appropriate times, or is it up to them to ensure they change their phone settings or turn it off if they don't want to be interrupted?   
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: kckgirl on January 20, 2013, 08:12:19 PM
So my question is, do I bear any responsibility for emailing at appropriate times, or is it up to them to ensure they change their phone settings or turn it off if they don't want to be interrupted?

They can take responsibility for their own email, as you do yours. Don't worry about when you send something.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Luci on January 20, 2013, 08:35:18 PM
Their problem.

The thing I like about email is just as you said. One sends and reads on one's own time. Alerts can be turned off.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Ceallach on January 20, 2013, 08:41:23 PM
Their problem.

The thing I like about email is just as you said. One sends and reads on one's own time. Alerts can be turned off.

Yeah, I guess it just irritates me a little bit because I feel guilty for disturbing them when I didn't actually want them to read it - I wish my outlook had a "time delay" option, that way I could queue up a pile of emails to send at a specific date/time!    ;D       
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: betty on January 20, 2013, 09:00:41 PM
I agree that you are fine to send emails any time you want.

However, by sending emails on what are presumably NOT your official work hours, you are sending the message that you are available at all times. Sounds good until you actually want to take time off during your time off. You might want to start saving up emails in your "drafts" folder and sending them during regular office hours.

As for sending emails to people who are on vacation: if it's important and you can remember, it might be best to wait until they are back at work. Often people return to email overload, and 'old' emails might not get prompt attention.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: gollymolly2 on January 20, 2013, 09:02:43 PM
Outlook does have a time delay option, which I use for very late non-emergency emails.

I think it's impolite to send an email to someone late at night IF you KNOW they get notifications when they receive emails and the email doesn't need to be sent right then. Sure, they could turn off the notifications, but you could say the same about a person's phone ringer: how could it be rude to call someone at 3am, it's their fault if they don't turn the ringer off!

People have various reasons they "need" email notifications on 24/7. So do your best to take easy, reasonable actions to avoid waking them up (like delay delivery)
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: katycoo on January 20, 2013, 09:06:48 PM
I say email can be sent whenever you like. 

People who have emails set to notify and leave their phones on next to them all night are disturbing themselves.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Luci on January 20, 2013, 09:21:21 PM
Outlook does have a time delay option, which I use for very late non-emergency emails.

Sure, they could turn off the notifications, but you could say the same about a person's phone ringer: how could it be rude to call someone at 3am, it's their fault if they don't turn the ringer off!

People have various reasons they "need" email notifications on 24/7. So do your best to take easy, reasonable actions to avoid waking them up (like delay delivery)

I know several people who turn their phones off for certain hours. We don't have the ringer on in our bedroom because we can hear the phone ring in the kitchen if we are awake, but it won't disturb us if we are asleep or busy.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Ceallach on January 20, 2013, 09:44:53 PM
Lately there have been a few occasions where I held off a pile of emails until Monday morning, relating to work I'd done over the weekend - they all needed to go to our CEO, or to another senior manager, and I know both of them would have read and responded had I sent any earlier.   It certainly made me look productive when they got piles of emails before 9am on Monday!   ;D

Part of the problem at the moment is I am due to give birth any day now, so if I wait to do something there's every chance it just won't happen if I am, um, otherwise occupied!    So I'm more in the zone of "quick do that now" while I still have the chance.  There were a few emails over this weekend that I knew I needed to send for work I wanted my staff to do today (Monday).  I woke up in the middle of the night with really strong "practice" contractions, and my immediate thought was "Should I jump on the computer and send those emails now in case this is the start of real labour??"  Obviously it was a false alarm anyway.     I will investigate the time delay option, I know our server has a kind of weird setup (we're a smallish company) so not sure if we have that feature, but would be great if we do! 
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: gollymolly2 on January 20, 2013, 10:25:18 PM
I say email can be sent whenever you like. 

People who have emails set to notify and leave their phones on next to them all night are disturbing themselves.

Or have jobs where that's an expectation.

I'm not suggesting that its never okay to send an email late at night - usually it is. But if you know it'll wake the person up and you have another option, like delay delivery, why not use it?
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Style_and_Grace on January 20, 2013, 10:33:48 PM
They could very well have the settings changed when they don't want to be bothered by email.  I know that depending a variety of factors I flip my email notifications on and off to suit my current needs.  I'm willing to bet that your managers have the sense to do the same.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Shopaholic on January 21, 2013, 12:13:22 AM
I think you can send emails whenever you like.
The fact that they set their phones to alert them each time an email arrives is their preference. For all you know, they might have the phone turned off at night or on silent.

I once finished an email to my boss on Yom Kippur (no traffic, no TV, no radio, entire country shuts down). While I was contemplating whether to send it or wait until later, I got an email from him.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: CluelessBride on January 21, 2013, 12:27:05 AM
Just because they are recieving push email notifications during the day doesn't mean they are at night. In fact I would assume they aren't. It is easy enough to set it up not to push during certain hours. Plenty of email list serves deliver in the middle of the night or early mornings. Plus email has long been considered a form of at your leisure non emergency correspondence- meaning you can send and respond when its convenient for you and your recipient can do the same.

It's different than a phone call in that phones are immediate and often used in emergencies, so I wouldn't expect someone to turn their phone off just to avoid midnight calls.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Girly on January 21, 2013, 07:22:33 AM
I say email can be sent whenever you like. 

People who have emails set to notify and leave their phones on next to them all night are disturbing themselves.

Or have jobs where that's an expectation.

I'm not suggesting that its never okay to send an email late at night - usually it is. But if you know it'll wake the person up and you have another option, like delay delivery, why not use it?

I disagree. It is up to yourself to set your own 'working' hours, whatever they may be, not whomever may email you at whatever time.

For example, I work for myself. Some times (like January through April) I work ALL THE TIME. I frequently am up at 10pm or 2am working, and emailing people (or receiving emails).

The night's I am not working, I put my phone on vibrate, and don't get woken up. When I wake up during the night (to tend to the baby, or use the restroom), sometimes I check my phone, sometimes not.

You also have the option on most phones to set different email accounts to do different things. So my Gmail account is set to always vibrate, while Work email account is set to make noise, and Client email account is sent to make different noise and vibrate.

So, not rude to email late at night. It's not your responsibility to check with people to make sure it's ok to send an email during 'non work' hours. It's up to the individual to set their own work hours.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Oh Joy on January 21, 2013, 07:26:25 AM
I feel the pain of your dilemma.

I do stick to the following guidelines:
Telephone - call only when is appropriate to interrupt
Text message - text only when is appropriate to interrupt, but slightly broader times (if that makes sense)
E-mail - anytime
Postal mail - anytime  ;-)

Speaking of arriivals, best wishes with your upcoming delivery!
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Yvaine on January 21, 2013, 09:03:49 AM
You might want to start saving up emails in your "drafts" folder and sending them during regular office hours.

This is what I recommend too. This will work even if you don't have the delayed-delivery option.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: SamiHami on January 21, 2013, 11:03:33 AM
I say email any time you like. I agree with the statement that someone who does not turn off their alerts when sleeping/busy with family/etc is essentially disturbing him- or herself.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: artk2002 on January 21, 2013, 11:35:01 AM
The burden is on the receiver to make sure that they are undisturbed, if that's what they want.  I've never given it a second thought about when I was sending an e-mail, and I say this as someone who could be awakened by a off-hours e-mail, if I didn't take steps to silence my electronics when I don't want to be bothered.  This may have come from the fact that I worked for a multi-national, with colleagues in nearly every time zone on the planet. No matter when I send an e-mail, it's the middle of the night for someone.  If anybody had griped about getting an e-mail in the middle of the night, I would have given them a (virtual) raised eyebrow and not changed a thing. There's no way that I would stay up late, or get up early, or try to customize the delivery for the convenience of every recipient. My colleagues are all adults and supposedly can manage their own lives.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: gollymolly2 on January 21, 2013, 12:16:31 PM
I say email can be sent whenever you like. 

People who have emails set to notify and leave their phones on next to them all night are disturbing themselves.

Or have jobs where that's an expectation.

I'm not suggesting that its never okay to send an email late at night - usually it is. But if you know it'll wake the person up and you have another option, like delay delivery, why not use it?

I disagree. It is up to yourself to set your own 'working' hours, whatever they may be, not whomever may email you at whatever time.

For example, I work for myself. Some times (like January through April) I work ALL THE TIME. I frequently am up at 10pm or 2am working, and emailing people (or receiving emails).

The night's I am not working, I put my phone on vibrate, and don't get woken up. When I wake up during the night (to tend to the baby, or use the restroom), sometimes I check my phone, sometimes not.

You also have the option on most phones to set different email accounts to do different things. So my Gmail account is set to always vibrate, while Work email account is set to make noise, and Client email account is sent to make different noise and vibrate.

So, not rude to email late at night. It's not your responsibility to check with people to make sure it's ok to send an email during 'non work' hours. It's up to the individual to set their own work hours.

Well, without getting too caught in the weeds, it's much easier to set your own working hours when you work for yourself. If you work for others or have a job that requires you to deal with emergencies (or any number of reasons) then you may not get to set your own work hours.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: gollymolly2 on January 21, 2013, 12:37:00 PM
Last post here - I didnt mean to hijack the thread :)

But it seems to me to be the same situation as someone who works nights, sleeps during the day, but keeps the phone on in case there are any emergency situations with her kids. If a stranger calls and wakes her up, thats not their fault. If someone who knows her but does not know she keeps her phone on for the kids calls and wakes her up, that's not their fault. But if a good friend of hers knows her situation, and calls at noon anyway, that's kind of a jerk move.

Same with mid-night emails. For most people, you can email them at 4am without second thought. And if you email someone at 4am and it wakes them up and you didn't know that would happen, then how could you be responsible? But if you email someone at 4am and you know it will wake them up because they have to have notifications on all night for some reasons, why isn't that also be a jerk move?
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Virg on January 21, 2013, 01:20:09 PM
gollymolly2 wrote:

"Same with mid-night emails. For most people, you can email them at 4am without second thought. And if you email someone at 4am and it wakes them up and you didn't know that would happen, then how could you be responsible? But if you email someone at 4am and you know it will wake them up because they have to have notifications on all night for some reasons, why isn't that also be a jerk move?"

The problem with this analogy is that smart phones are smarter than old time telephones.  It's not at all difficult to configure a smart phone to do alerts on a very complex level, such as ringing during the night hours only for certain numbers or signaling only for certain email senders.  Unless you're in a position where sometimes you need to wake this person up with email and sometimes not, then it's not hard for him to configure your emails not to give audible notification unless it's during the day.  Given that, I find that it's best to let people manage their own notifications and send the email when I compose it.  If he's configured his phone to notify him for every email he gets and doesn't turn off audibles for your emails at night, then I'd presume he wants to be woken up when you email him.

Virg
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: CluelessBride on January 21, 2013, 01:21:03 PM
But if you email someone at 4am and you know it will wake them up because they have to have notifications on all night for some reasons, why isn't that also be a jerk move?

I mean if you know you will be waking someone up and intentionally send them an email at 4am in order to wake the up all while laughing maniacally - then yes, that would be a jerk move.

But I wouldn't expect someone sending an email to really consider that it might wake someone else up. When you are making a phone call you are looking for immediate contact. Sure, there is the possibility you will end up needing to leave a voicemail, but the original intent of the communication was immediate contact. Which means you need to consider whether or not immediate contact would be convenient. Hence not calling in the middle of the night and avoiding known conflicts/inconvenient times.  In contrast, when you send an email you are looking for contact at the recipient's earliest convenience. Faster than a letter, but not immediate like the phone. So I wouldn't expect someone to think about the email time when sending an email - even if they are sending it to a friend who they know uses an alert. I guess if the friend has complained about it in the past. But even then, if being woken up by your email is an issue - the simplest solution is to spend 2 minutes changing your phones settings.

I've also never heard of someone needing an email alert on during off hours for emergencies. Phone/text capabilities, sure. But even the emergency emails I receive are just providing additional details - I also get a phone call (and sometimes a text too!).
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: nuit93 on January 21, 2013, 03:42:34 PM
This has been an informative thread...it never would have occured to me that emailing someone at odd hours could be a problem!
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 21, 2013, 03:48:13 PM
I work for a global company.  I get emails 24 hours a day and during the weekends.  It is up to me to manage my phone notifications. I wouldn't expect the person in our Shanghai office to try and figure out if sending me an email would wake me up.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Ceallach on January 21, 2013, 04:03:59 PM
I work for a global company.  I get emails 24 hours a day and during the weekends.  It is up to me to manage my phone notifications. I wouldn't expect the person in our Shanghai office to try and figure out if sending me an email would wake me up.

That's an excellent point!   My previous two employers were global, which meant I was continually emailing people in the "middle of the night" their time.    But because that was the norm it never seemed an issue - kind of went without saying that they would work during their working hours, and us during ours.

My current employer is a privately owned, local company, only 100 employees.  I am the 2nd most senior person in the organisation (reporting to the CEO).

A couple of posters suggested that my boss and other managers turn off the push function on the weekend unbeknown to me, however I've fairly certain this isn't the case - they respond fairly promptly!     I guess that's the crux of it.   I *know* that they're getting my emails even outside of business hours, because they respond, so therefore is it rude of me to send them at really inappropriate times e.g. 3am etc.    Yes, if it woke them up, they'd probably blame themselves for not switching their phone off - but I suspect that I'd also get a "What were you doing sending emails at 3am?!" question from them the next day! 
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: TootsNYC on January 22, 2013, 07:25:18 AM
Their problem.

The thing I like about email is just as you said. One sends and reads on one's own time. Alerts can be turned off.

Yeah, I guess it just irritates me a little bit because I feel guilty for disturbing them when I didn't actually want them to read it - I wish my outlook had a "time delay" option, that way I could queue up a pile of emails to send at a specific date/time!    ;D     

But maybe they *wanted* to read it. Maybe it makes them feel less overwhelmed in the morning, or they like the feeling of control/being plugged in.

And yeah, I wish for a "time delay" option as well. My first-ever email program had that--I do NOT understand why it isn't an option!
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: MrTango on January 22, 2013, 08:55:53 AM
Not rude at all.  If they don't want their phones to go off late at night, they can silence the ring-tone.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Jovismom on January 22, 2013, 10:22:09 AM
Not rude at all.  If they don't want their phones to go off late at night, they can silence the ring-tone.

Exactly, that's what I do.  I have different notification tones for emails, texts and phone messages.  My cell phone sits on my bedside table but, I turn it to silent every night when I turn in. 

If someone chooses to have audible notifications on their phone the onus is on that person to manage their notifications.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Ceallach on January 22, 2013, 04:03:32 PM
Their problem.

The thing I like about email is just as you said. One sends and reads on one's own time. Alerts can be turned off.

Yeah, I guess it just irritates me a little bit because I feel guilty for disturbing them when I didn't actually want them to read it - I wish my outlook had a "time delay" option, that way I could queue up a pile of emails to send at a specific date/time!    ;D     

But maybe they *wanted* to read it. Maybe it makes them feel less overwhelmed in the morning, or they like the feeling of control/being plugged in.

And yeah, I wish for a "time delay" option as well. My first-ever email program had that--I do NOT understand why it isn't an option!

That's true, because if I see an email then *I* want to read it - otherwise it will weigh on my mind wondering what's sitting there waiting for me. I can't resist the urge in fact!    So I definitely get that.   But if I'm not alerted to the presence of the email then I don't want to read it and my weekend isn't disrupted.  So if the email weren't sent until business hours I wouldn't have the desire to read it.... IYKWIM.    I don't have a need to read emails on the weekends as having some down-time is really important.  But if I know they're there, I'll read them.

(One thing that does happen a lot that amuses me is when we all email each other from bed - that's fairly common in the early morning including today actually, whoever is first awake and getting started on work for the day flicks something off, and we're all lying in bed replying from our phones!  ;D  Hey, there are worse ways to work!  I actually quite enjoy that type of exchange). 
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: blarg314 on January 22, 2013, 07:22:54 PM

Whether you want to let people know you work after hours is a separate issue.

As long as you aren't expecting responses in the middle of the night, when you send emails is up to you. And how people handle emails is up to them. If they have a phone that recieves emails, they should be able to set different tones, and if they are in a situation where they want to be woken up for certain emails and not others, there are ways to program that.

I find it hard to believe that they don't normally get emails at night, though, and that your email is a specific problem.   I don't get huge amounts of email in general, but I always wake up to a list of them in both my personal and work emails. When I'm corresponding with people or businesses in different time zones, we almost always send asynchronously.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Ceallach on January 22, 2013, 10:08:39 PM
I find it hard to believe that they don't normally get emails at night, though, and that your email is a specific problem.   I don't get huge amounts of email in general, but I always wake up to a list of them in both my personal and work emails. When I'm corresponding with people or businesses in different time zones, we almost always send asynchronously.

I would agree at any other organisation I've worked at (all my other organisations have been global or interacted globally), however the nature of the business we are in means everything is local - we don't have any international correspondence whatsoever.      Although I receive personal emails overnight, I have never once received a single work email overnight at this job, except for those from the same managers, often in response to my own etc.    So during waking hours.   :) 

We don't deal with anybody in any other timezones.  Suppliers, clients etc are all local.   (It's a service based industry). 
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Virg on January 23, 2013, 09:04:05 AM
Ceallach wrote:

"I would agree at any other organisation I've worked at (all my other organisations have been global or interacted globally), however the nature of the business we are in means everything is local - we don't have any international correspondence whatsoever."

I presume that blarg314 meant that even a business address might get non-business emails or spam coming in at night, as proven by the fact that you get personal emails at night.  Therefore, if he doesn't want email waking him up then it's on him to alter his phone settings, and if he does want email waking him up then it's not your problem to try to guess whether any given email will do that.  In the absence of a specific request from him not to send emails during any given time period, there's no rudeness in sending emails at any given time.

Virg
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: TootsNYC on January 23, 2013, 11:39:43 AM
One thing you can do, to make up for the lack of a "time delay" on the "send" function, is to email it to yourself with a subject line: "FORWARD TO CHRISTINE."

Then you will be less likely to forget, but you can send it the next time you're on.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 23, 2013, 12:10:02 PM
I don't think it is rude to send the e-mail when you are thinking about it.  I'm terrible at remembering things like this and I'd probably even forget to check the drafts folder to see if I have anything to send.

Could you use the subject line to let them know they don't have to read it right away?  Like 'To be dealt with first thing Monday - XYZ issue'.

Then, if they choose to read it and respond right away, that's entirely on them.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: The TARDIS on January 23, 2013, 06:50:35 PM
Don't worry yourself about it. Email will sit until it is read, regardless of when it was sent.

Now, if it was showing up at their house as floating white boxes, THAT would be annoying. ;)
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: AngelicGamer on January 23, 2013, 11:23:59 PM
Don't worry yourself about it. Email will sit until it is read, regardless of when it was sent.

Now, if it was showing up at their house as floating white boxes, THAT would be annoying. ;)

I say give that idea 10 years and it'll start happening.  Someone would want email right now and be inspired by the owls of Harry Potter and the idea will be born.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Ceallach on January 24, 2013, 04:38:55 AM
Ceallach wrote:

"I would agree at any other organisation I've worked at (all my other organisations have been global or interacted globally), however the nature of the business we are in means everything is local - we don't have any international correspondence whatsoever."

I presume that blarg314 meant that even a business address might get non-business emails or spam coming in at night, as proven by the fact that you get personal emails at night.  Therefore, if he doesn't want email waking him up then it's on him to alter his phone settings, and if he does want email waking him up then it's not your problem to try to guess whether any given email will do that.  In the absence of a specific request from him not to send emails during any given time period, there's no rudeness in sending emails at any given time.

Virg

Ah fair point! I guess they get routed direct to the junk folder for I have not had a single junk email. (is that very unusual? Most companies these days have good spam filters so I take it for granted).
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: blarg314 on January 24, 2013, 07:01:56 PM

I still get some junk mail on my work account - they're moving to a new system which will hopefully help, but unfortunately, my ability to set spam filters in Chinese is limited, and almost all of the spam I get is non-English.

Sometimes I do get work related emails from people in the same time zone at weird hours, but I don't check them until the morning. And rarely but occasionally  there's a hang-up on the server that delays the sending of emails.

On my home email, I get various routine emails, from mailing lists, or group emails for organizations, or consumer notices I've signed up for.  These show up at various times of day, including the middle of the night.

But I do keep my work and home emails separate. So if I don't want to be disturbed by work related stuff on the weekend, I can not check my work account.

It sound like that for the OP, after hours emails are not common, and there is no reason why someone would need to read work emails at 3 in the morning. So if someone is setting their work email account to automatic alert and leaving it on their bedside, it's totally optional to do that. In that case, if the actually get email alerts, it's their problem. They can separate their work and personal emails, or set up filters to only alert them for certain emails, or turn off the alerts, or whatever they want to do to change things if it's a problem.

Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 24, 2013, 08:17:37 PM
My feeling is, if you know for certain, through comments these specific people have made, that they are disturbed by emails at night and don't appreciate them, it's just better from a professional standpoint to not send them emails at night. Why do something that you know will irritate a colleague, when it doesn't really need to be done?

You can try the time delay, saving a draft, emailing it to yourself first, whatever. I don't know what your job is so I don't want to diminish it, but I'm just wondering, if an email doesn't get sent because you went into labor, is it really going to mess everything up? If it really is, perhaps you could make a temporary deal with another co-worker that you will send her the emails as you write them, and then if for some reason you aren't able to send them to the real recipient yourself, she can do it for you.

A friend of mine has chosen to get rid of her landline and uses her cell phone solely. She keeps it on 24/7, by the bed, in case of emergencies. It rings for text messages the same as it does for a phone call. I didn't realize this, but after one too many early morning texts which I thought she could read later at her leisure, she told me about her setup. I didn't know before, so I wasn't rude then; but now that I know, I think I would be rude to text her at a time it's likely to wake her up (for a non-emergency).
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: nrb80 on January 24, 2013, 09:44:57 PM
One thing to consider - is there a bias about when emails are sent/work is done?  I personally believe people work productively at all hours, but not everyone does, and often people do not want late night work.  Internally is one thing, but I have a rule of not sending clients emails far outside business hours unless it's urgent - i.e. I need something from them at 10 pm for a hearing the next morning, but even if I was up all night drafting a pleading, I time delay that to 7:30 am so the client doesn't know I finished at 3 am.  I don't think my work product is any worse, but no client wants to feel like the last thing tacked into the day, and when we charge by the hour they want the most productive hours (regardless of whether one is most productive at 3 am) and sometimes late nights seem not so productive.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Margo on January 25, 2013, 06:18:47 AM
I don't think it is rude. As PPs have said, it's possible to set notifications for incoming mail the way *you* want them, which includes turning them off when you go to bed, if you wish.

I have to admit, that I would see Lynee2000's friend's set up in a similar way - she has chosen to have a loud alert which disturbs her, when she gets a text message. Of course I would not text her if I remembered that it might disturb her, because it would be rude to deliberately do something which you know the other person doesn't want you to, but unless she is a very close friend or family member, I don't think it would be reasonable of her to expect that everyone remembers her personal set up. Ultimately the reason she's disturbed is because of the way she has chosen to set up her phone. And the same is true of people who have their e-mail alerts on all the time.
It is also possible that those people you work with who have their notifications on at all times are not disturbed by the alert, if they are actually sleeping. I once apologised to a friend of mine after I texted her very late at night (I have not realized how late it was) as I was worried I'd woken her. She told me that the reason she doesn't turn off the phone or alerts at night is that the alerts don't disturb her, and the phone has to be ringing for quite a while to wake her, so if she happens to be awake she will respond immediately, if she isn't, it won't disturb her at all.

(And I know it wasn't just a polite response to my apology, as when we later shared a room, her text alert work me up the first night, she slept through it. The second night she turned her phone to silent, because she is a nice person and a good friend :-) )
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 25, 2013, 09:33:46 AM
I have to admit, that I would see Lynee2000's friend's set up in a similar way - she has chosen to have a loud alert which disturbs her, when she gets a text message. Of course I would not text her if I remembered that it might disturb her, because it would be rude to deliberately do something which you know the other person doesn't want you to, but unless she is a very close friend or family member, I don't think it would be reasonable of her to expect that everyone remembers her personal set up. Ultimately the reason she's disturbed is because of the way she has chosen to set up her phone. And the same is true of people who have their e-mail alerts on all the time.

I do think there's some give and take to it. For example, once my friend complained that her FIL had texted her late at night and woken them up, for something that wasn't urgent at all. She was quite huffy about it and I said, "He knows texts wake you up just like phone calls, right? Because I didn't realize that at first." And she was like, still huffy, "Well, DH was supposed to tell him!"  ::) I think FIL is not the problem here, then... But since she and I have discussed this specific issue, yes, I think it would be rude of me to text her when she's likely to be asleep.

I read the OP as these specific work colleagues had discussed the issue with her and were disturbed by late night emails. It might not be rude, objectively, to send the emails whenever, but it just doesn't seem wise to me to do something you know irritates your colleague, when it's not something you have to do. Of course there is a fine line there, which we discuss here all the time--is it rude to play soft music/eat fragrant food/make work-related phone calls at your desk/be more successful than your colleague, if it bothers your colleague? To me, since there are so many other options besides sending an email right then in the middle of the night, I think it's worth waiting, and not irritating the colleague.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: The TARDIS on January 26, 2013, 06:31:09 PM
Don't worry yourself about it. Email will sit until it is read, regardless of when it was sent.

Now, if it was showing up at their house as floating white boxes, THAT would be annoying. ;)

I say give that idea 10 years and it'll start happening.  Someone would want email right now and be inspired by the owls of Harry Potter and the idea will be born.

Haha! I was referencing this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJ5Ogi56Gv8
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: AngelicGamer on January 26, 2013, 06:49:07 PM
Don't worry yourself about it. Email will sit until it is read, regardless of when it was sent.

Now, if it was showing up at their house as floating white boxes, THAT would be annoying. ;)

I say give that idea 10 years and it'll start happening.  Someone would want email right now and be inspired by the owls of Harry Potter and the idea will be born.

Haha! I was referencing this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJ5Ogi56Gv8

LOL!  Note to self: Sometimes the TARDIS goes meta.  ;)

Although, it would be cool if the little white boxes existed and email became like getting owls, but I'm a strange duck.
Title: Re: Emailing at odd hours
Post by: Ceallach on January 26, 2013, 07:02:11 PM
I read the OP as these specific work colleagues had discussed the issue with her and were disturbed by late night emails. It might not be rude, objectively, to send the emails whenever, but it just doesn't seem wise to me to do something you know irritates your colleague, when it's not something you have to do. Of course there is a fine line there, which we discuss here all the time--is it rude to play soft music/eat fragrant food/make work-related phone calls at your desk/be more successful than your colleague, if it bothers your colleague? To me, since there are so many other options besides sending an email right then in the middle of the night, I think it's worth waiting, and not irritating the colleague.

This is kind of the situation.  It's more that I know that they read them because they respond straight away.

There were a few weekends recently where myself and another manager agreed between us not to send any emails to our (mutual) boss over the weekend because we were worried about her and didn't want to give her more work!   (That might sound patronising to some, but the type of things we would send were things that really *could* wait, and we knew she'd been burning the candle at both ends and desperately needed some family time).   We both did the work we planned on doing but just saved our emails up to send on Monday.  So there's been no complaints but both her and the other manager have young children and both tend to work long hours from home (as do I), so that switching off time is important.  Of course they are adults and will make their own choices and switch off their phones as needed, but at the same time I don't want to add to the problem.   Like I said, I'm exactly the same in that I too will reply when I get the emails!  Which is why I have alerts switched off so although I check them constantly, I don't get actually interrupted by them. I only see them when I'm actually sitting around playing with my phone or sending emails etc. 

Anyway thank you all for your comments it's an interesting topic.     I've been booked for induction early this coming week, so we decided it made sense for me to actually stop working as of Friday - which included completely disconnecting my iphone from my work email because we all know I'll keep checking them otherwise!   ;D    So it's a moot point now as there's a gap between work and having bubs after all.   But of course the topic is still relevant in general.   I guess every situation is different so I'll keep it case by case.