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.

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More about TeamDoctor

The Problem
137 million working days are lost each year through absence in the UK – some of them in your company. 80 million days are lost as a result of three problems:

Mental health issues

Back and other joint pain

Coughs, colds and minor illnesses

Each day a colleague is absent costs money. Each day a colleague is absent reduces productivity and profit.

If the problem is addressed.....
Harvard Business Review, in a study of 20,000 employees, found that companies which focus on mental, spiritual, physical and emotional wellbeing are 20% more profitable and have 10% higher customer reviews.

Our solution
TeamDoctor will reduce absence, creating a happy, healthy and more productive workforce by helping people:
1. Become aware of their physical and mental health
2. Engage with their health
3. Take active steps to improve it
4. Identify structural and operational issues within the company which are contributing to poorer health outcomes
5. Address these problems through improving the structure, leadership and teamwork

How do we do that?
We offer world class health and wellbeing film content which works. Our bite sized videos are very well endorsed and evaluated within the NHS. All content is designed to help people understand the causes of workplace health issues, spot symptoms and identify solutions through practical tips and strategies.

Fewer days lost to sickness
Quicker return to work
Greater productivity
Greater profit

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