After-Hours E-mail

E-mail is the backbone of most companies – it’s how we interact with clients, communicate and stay on top of the industry. But that 5A.M. or weekend e-mail likely does more harm than good.

“Other than life or death situations and critical business scenarios, such as negotiating a critical contract or an urgent employee situation, e-mails should not be sent after work hours,” says Karen Benjack, President of GH Consulting Group. She adds that constantly being copied on e-mails unnecessarily can also lead to stress.

According to a recent survey, 62 percent of workers check e-mail on weekends, and 50 percent check it on vacation. Benjack suggests creating an auto-response saying you’re out of the office and to call if it’s urgent to help eliminate the urge to constantly check in.

Ignoring after-hours e-mail also helps in maintaining the Life/Work balance. “I have a philosophy that, Friday night at 7 o’clock, I shut down until 7 o’clock Sunday night,” says Pam Blalock, Distribution VP of Individual Business at MetLife. “I shut down one side of my life and make sure I focus on the other side.”

If you do need to glance at your e-mail, Priority Inbox from Google automatically sorts your messages for importance based on which ones you read and reply to the most. Benjack’s no-nonsense e-mail method simply states, “information needed and action required.”

Bonus PINK Link: Are you addicted to your Smartphone? Check out the 10 BlackBerry Commandments.

PINK Profile: Check out how Blalock, PINK’s Top Woman of the Week, maintains Life/Work balance, pushes beyond her comfort zone and measures success in our exclusive profile.

By Megan Hylton

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” Mohandas K. Gandhi

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