Author Topic: Emailing at odd hours  (Read 4996 times)

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Ceallach

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Emailing at odd hours
« on: January 20, 2013, 09:07:36 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?   
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kckgirl

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Re: Emailing at odd hours
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2013, 09:12:19 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.
Maryland

Luci

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Re: Emailing at odd hours
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2013, 09:35:18 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.

Ceallach

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Re: Emailing at odd hours
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2013, 09:41:23 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       
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betty

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Re: Emailing at odd hours
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2013, 10:00:41 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.

gollymolly2

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Re: Emailing at odd hours
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2013, 10:02:43 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)

katycoo

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Re: Emailing at odd hours
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2013, 10:06:48 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.

Luci

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Re: Emailing at odd hours
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2013, 10:21:21 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.

Ceallach

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Re: Emailing at odd hours
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2013, 10:44:53 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! 
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gollymolly2

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Re: Emailing at odd hours
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2013, 11:25:18 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?

Style_and_Grace

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Re: Emailing at odd hours
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2013, 11:33:48 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.

Shopaholic

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Re: Emailing at odd hours
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2013, 01:13:22 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.

CluelessBride

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Re: Emailing at odd hours
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2013, 01:27:05 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.

Girly

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Re: Emailing at odd hours
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2013, 08:22:33 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.

Oh Joy

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Re: Emailing at odd hours
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2013, 08:26:25 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!