Work email culture–there’s always tomorrow

legal email

From Law Donut 17/05/13:

Accessing work-related emails is no longer just confined to the working day. According to a new report, small business employees are checking their work emails at all hours of day and night – even at social occasions that include weddings, school events and family get-togethers.

Excuse me?  What’s new about this?  Hasn’t this been a widespread problem for several years now?

The survey, conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of GFI Software, polled 500 employees in small business workplaces across the UK. It found that technology has blurred the boundaries between home and work. Three quarters of respondents said they check their work email at the weekend, 44% check work email after 11pm and 54% keep on top of work email on holiday.

I’ve long regarded email at work as being both a symptom and a cause of the growing OCD epidemic. No, seriously. 

There was a time that I would regularly check my work emails outside of the working day. Over the last couple of years, though, I’ve found a little work-life demarcation has been in order and have made a conscious effort to only check work emails during working hours. It can be tough at first to break old (unhealthy) habits but it’s well worth sticking with.  I also removed my work mail accounts from my smartphone and, funnily enough, my cold sweats and panic attacks immediately subsided.  ;-)  Sometimes life’s too short to tolerate these things.  Remember: that vitally important email will still be safely in your inbox on Monday morning. 
Who said there’s no such thing as 9 – 5 legal practice any more?  Be right back

The report also found that email is used at the office more than any other form of communication:

  • 48.8% of respondents use email for work more than any other communications format
  • 25% still prefer face-to-face meetings
  • 23.6% prefer to pick up the phone

Don’t get me started: there’s nothing more disruptive than a telephone call.

Email gets a quick response from the majority of respondents – with 75% saying they typically reply to emails within one hour during work hours and almost a third replying within 15 minutes.

And for the record, anybody who sends an email and then follows it up with a phone call within a matter of minutes is blatantly asking for a smack in the mouth!


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