We've all done it -- the late evening email blitz, just to clear the decks for the next day. The cheeky check-in. But do you really need to be writing back late at night? Or are you showing off being a work martyr? Are you putting pressure on other people who think you expect a reply?
You do realise that if you're on Outlook, there's a 'send later' button... don't you? Here is where the button lives if you're working on desktop on mac:
And here's where it lives if you're working on desktop on PC – You have to first go into the ‘Options’ tab, and then select delivery delay:
If you've got it and you're not using it, ask yourself whether you're just showing off what time you sent that email. What are you trying to prove, and to whom? Is it worth a conversation to make that dynamic a bit healthier?
There are good reasons to work late sometimes, of course. One exception I make for myself is, I don't know if / where this button exists on mobile. (Do you? Message me!) If I'm going something on the weekend / outside hours, times when I ought to delay my send to working hours, I'm likely to be on mobile without my button.
In which case, the other thing you can do is include a little bit of humanity in your signature, to be absolutely sure -- and if like mine, your company is global, this could be a good idea in light of timezones.
Here is mine:
Our inclusive working environment enables collaboration and the right work-life balance. I am sending this message now because it is a convenient time for me. I do not expect that you will read, respond to or action this message outside of your working hours.
If you like it, steal it for yourself!
And finally, ask yourself how healthy it is to be working outside your core hours if you're having to do it very much at all. What needs changing?
Sometimes it's your workplace but often it's you. We have to be brave to challenge unreasonable expectations from our businesses, and to challenge ourselves to put our phones down and do something besides working. Downtime and time spent doing other inspiring activities makes you better at your work when you come back to it! And especially if you're a manager, it sets a good example for everyone in your team.