There’s a sticky combination we face in today’s business world: Email on the phone, and running a business.
We all live under the general assumption that everyone has a smart phone, and that everyone receives email notifications on their phone instantly. I often speak in my marketing workshops about the importance of “Instant Communication.”
But it’s a little out of control.
Sending an email is like sending a text. To say, “I didn’t see it” no longer sounds like an excuse, but rather sounds like a lie. If you don’t get a response in a reasonable amount of time, you assume you’re being ignored.
But let’s take a step back.
As our digital world evolves, though, the question becomes: Which is more unreasonable? Sending an email on a Sunday night… or ignoring that email on a Sunday night?
Sure, some might say, “I’m sending this so they see it Monday morning.”
But on that Sunday night, we know that while the person on the other side is trying to mentally wind down and spend time with their family, you are interrupting their evening. Even if it’s ever so briefly, you’re robbing that person of a mental break, having them, in some small way, begin the workweek earlier than they deserve.
When people chose to catch up on their work at 10:00pm on a weeknight, a Saturday afternoon, or in the middle of a BBQ on the 4th of July, that’s their prerogative. I ride that boat all the time, but occasionally force myself to “turn work off” during dinner with my husband and at funerals.
If you wouldn’t ask for a business partner to meet with you while there’s a commercial break during Saturday Night Live, should you be chirping his or her cell phone then with some piece of business that can wait until Monday morning?
I’m one of the biggest offenders of this, but I’ve recently been inspired from reading about some larger corporations forcing their employees to shut their emails off their phone during non-work hours. I’m going to try to dramatically increase my efforts to send emails closer to actual “work week hours,” versus Sunday nights, or any other times where people on the other side should be spending time with their family and mentally taking a break.
I encourage you to join me in this effort.