Do you remember the days where you had the weekends clear of “work chatter”? If no one had your home phone, you left on Friday and resumed your work life on Monday. Pagers came into our lives and began to erode this. Cell phone became popular in the late 80’s and eroded this sanctity further.
With email, all hell broke loose. We got emails from bosses, Customers, vendors and colleagues at all hours and all days — Sunday too. Most of them can wait until Monday, but Send is such an easy button to click. People that wouldn’t dare call you at home on Sunday at 5:30am, would have no problems sending you several emails at that same time.
To make matters worse, thousands of information workers have develped the habit of deferring most email answering to the weekends. One Google executive recently talked about her Sunday email marathons, where she might send out as many as 100 emails. She is not alone.
These habits can ruin weekends, drive turnover and burnout and weaken relationships.
Think about it — your employee comes in from his Sunday BBQ to checke the weather online and sees his email inbox flashing. You’ve sent him about five work related emails with some to-do’s. He gets back into the work cloud, decides he needs to address it now and the steaks burn outside. He is barely at the picnic and his wife nags him to quit his job that night as they lay down to sleep.
Same goes for your Customers. Don’t invade their weekend because you can’t conduct your business during business hours. They need the break.
Email Point Of View takeaway: Never let email cross a line that phones or face-to-face cannot. Never let technology erode relationship quality. Less is more.
Like I’ve said in my seminars, you have the think about your emotional value proposition to your clients and partners. You have to think about the emotional compensation plan for your employees and talent. Because they do. There’s an old saying and it rings true here: “Long after they forget what you did, they will remember how you made them feel.”
And we are supposed to feel good on the weekends. Thank God its Friday!
Bonus: My first audio download is Rule 6 from the Dirty Dozen Rules of Email Etiquette.
Download Rule6.mp3 (3039.9K)
Recommended: Listen to my Dirty Dozen Rules of Email Etiquette audio program, only available in The Whole Enchilada Package.