What is the latest time you have ever sent or received an email? If you have people that work remotely you are probably used to seeing or sending emails at all hours.

Working from home has really helped some people. They are now able to be more flexible with their time, they can make time to pick their kids up from school or go to an appointment when they need to that they may not have been able to do before. However, taking this time out of their normal workday can mean that more work is being done in the evenings.

A survey was recently carried out by Microsoft to see how working from home affected collaboration – this is so they can make improvements to Teams. The survey found that there are two main spikes in productivity during the day. One before lunch and one after lunch. However, for a third of its workers they found that there was also a productivity spike at around 10pm.

Since the pandemic and working from home became a lot more common, employees have increased their working time and availability. Microsoft found that employees increased their working time by 46 minutes (13% each day) with a massive 26% of this in after-hours work.

You might be thinking that this is great for business, but it demonstrates just how blurred the lines between work and home life have become. This third peak can cause a loss of productivity as employees are feeling more pressure to respond to emails quickly, increasing their stress levels in the evenings which affects their morale and overall well-being.

Satya Nadella the CEO of Microsoft said that businesses need to place more emphasis on soft skills and good management practices so that employee wellbeing is taken care of properly. He advises that business owners and managers set very clear expectations on after-hours work so that employees don’t feel any undue pressure to always be available. One of these expectations should involve not feeling the need to respond to emails at the weekend, even if it is from a manager!

Do you work out of hours? Are you setting the right expectations for your staff?

Here is a quick tip that you could do – instead of replying to emails at night you can schedule them to be sent the following morning. So even if you are working out of hours it doesn’t look like you are! This will hopefully make staff feel less pressured and could increase staff wellbeing.  




Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.