How to Handle After Hours Emails from Your Boss

In a 24/7 wired world, it’s often expected that professionals will respond to work related emails from their bosses after work, over the weekend, and during vacation. And some organizations may even support that workplace culture. These days, it appears that to keep on top of work demands requires working beyond 5 pm. Instead of suffering in silence and growing resentful of your boss, there are key strategies that you can implement to handle after hours emails from your boss for better work-life integration.
 
4 Strategies to Handle After Hours Emails from Your Boss
 
  1. Communicate, Communicate and Communicate: Perhaps your boss doesn’t realize that you find after hours emails intrusive. Let him know you’re available during emergencies, but you need time when you are completely turned off from work to recharge your internal batteries. Have a personal cell phone to take with you on vacation and leave the work phone behind, but make sure you communicate your unavailability to your boss and colleagues.
  2. Create a Schedule for Who is On-Call: Get to know your co-workers and jointly develop a system where each person will be on call after hours – one night each week and one weekend each month. Working together lessens the workload.
  3. Manage Expectations: According to research by Right Management, “Two out of three employees reported that they receive emails from their bosses during the weekend and one in three said they are expected to reply… If you have been replying, it might have sent the message you don’t mind the infringement on your personal time.” Communication is key and try not to establish a precedence that will likely work against you.
  4. Evaluate the Email: Does the email really warrant an immediate response, or is it more of an FYI (for your information)?
 
Please share tips on how you have handled after hours emails from your boss.
 
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