How To Manage Work Emails After Hours – Here Are EST10’S Top 3 Tips

Posted On 22 Feb 2017

How To Manage Work Emails After Hours – Here Are EST10’S Top 3 Tips

22 Feb 2017
How To Manage Work Emails After Hours – Here Are EST10’S Top 3 Tips

How To Manage Work Emails After Hours – Here Are EST10’S Top 3 Tips

The French say ‘non’ to work emails after hours

With the use of smartphones and tablets now common in the workplace, many of us enjoy the benefits of working more flexibly to strike a better work life balance. And if we love our jobs, we often don’t mind being connected out of hours, responding now and again to the odd urgent after hours email when we need to. Catching up on emails out of hours now and again can sometimes even help us sleep better at night and reduce the stress of a crazy work morning!

On the flipside, when the lines become too blurred between work and home, being connected 24/7 can have a negative impact on our health, relationships and wellbeing. According to a wide body of recent research, many of us are unhealthily obsessed with our work email after hours – so much so we’re not giving ourselves the vital downtime we need to relax and recharge.

So here at EST10 we were interested to find out that the French are taking a controversial approach to this very issue, giving employees the right to stop checking work email on smartphones and other devices once they finish for the day.

According to Fortune, as of the 1 January 2017, the ‘right to disconnect’ law requires French companies with more than 50 employees to establish an after hours email policy, outlining when employees should not send or reply to emails. The law is in place to prevent technology burnout by protecting valuable downtime.

Although we’re a long way from implementing a law such as this in Australia, if you’re struggling to switch off from work email after hours, what can you do?  Here are three tips to help you strike a better balance.

EST10’s 3 tips to avoid technology burnout

1. Stop being your own worst enemy

For many of us, the habit of checking and rechecking our email on our phones can almost be like an obsessive addiction. Whether we’re on the way to work, on our lunch break or even in the middle of a meeting, our smartphones are within fingertip reach. According to Fast Company, research has shown that constantly checking email is highly stressful, which ultimately impacts our productivity and creativity. And the same goes for checking work emails after hours.

So stop being your own worst enemy. Remove the push notifications from your phone so that you’re not notified every time you receive an email. And if you have to check your work email on weekends, limit these checks to once or twice a day.


2. Be clear on your hours and responsibilities

If you’re negotiating a new role, being promoted or working for a new boss, make sure you’re clear on whether responding to work emails after hours is expected or not. With international companies, there’s often a necessity to work with colleagues in different time zones, so make sure you understand the needs of your role. Some roles require 24/7 availability but the remuneration should reflect this. Always make sure you know what kinds of circumstances will require you to work outside of normal hours and negotiate where you need to.


3. Take the initiative

Many of us make exceptions to respond to urgent out of hours emails or calls when work is exceptionally busy. But if you’re finding yourself in a situation where your health is impacted negatively by being constantly connected, it’s time to review your situation and set some boundaries with your boss. Enter into the conversation in a non-emotive way. If it wasn’t part of your original agreement, state the facts, but be respectful about the situation. It may be necessary to come to a compromise. For example, be accessible when you need to be but find other ways to get some time to relax and recharge.