Should late night emails from your Boss be illegal?
Should late night emails from the boss be illegal? Trade Union Prospect says yes, and is calling for the Government to allow employees to have a legally binding ‘right to disconnect’. This would ban bosses from contacting staff outside set working hours, and emails sent during these times could be automatically deleted.
France has had a similar law in place for the last four years and Ireland brought in a code of practice in May 2021, encouraging organisations to use footers and notifications reminding employees they don’t need to answer emails out of hours.
At TeamDoctor we have consistently urged employers to think about banning out-of-hours communications. Different people work better at different times of day and if you find that your work/life balance is better suited to writing emails in the middle of the night, then that is your prerogative. However, we recommend you click the ‘Delay send’ button. You may have removed any stress associated with a particular task by writing and sending an email, but you heap that stress on to someone else when you send it. Using the ‘Delay send’ function solves the problem for both sides. The employee can receive it at a sensible time (on a working day) and the sender can write it whenever she likes.
In our substantial library of short films to help employees understand and manage stress and anxiety in the workplace, the film below on email overload is one of the most popular, emphasising how much stress and anxiety constant, untimely email communication can cause.
Top email tips from TeamDoctor are:
1. Write an email whenever you like but use the Delay function to send at a reasonable time on a working day.
2. If you are really struggling with email overload on return from holiday, write an out of office message before you leave saying all emails will be deleted whilst you are away and need to be resent from your return date. This means that timewasters won’t resend, and you don’t come back from holiday to have all that rest and relaxation undone by thousands of emails greeting your return.
3. Decide that you will only deal with emails 2 or 3 times a day. Fix those times and stick to them if you can and the nature of your job allows you to.
For more information about our films, courses and other e-learning, please contact: email@example.com