Open Tech Today - Top Stories

Friday, February 24, 2006

Here's my question . . .

If you receive a work-related email at 11 PM on a Saturday night, do you answer it?

Why do I ask?

I was thinking about this as I read a story about how people are working more, but accomplishing less, according to a new study.

The reason? Technology. It makes things move faster -- information, communications, products -- but it also crowds up our days with more stuff to deal with, which slows us down. It makes it harder to focus on one thing. It's also pushing work into our personal time.

A friend recently commented how emails and instant messaging were destroying the line between work and personal in his life. He was receiving work emails late at night, and felt the need to answer them even though it was his time at home.

My line between work time and personal time has broken down completely. I tend to answer emails (work or personal) based on how busy I feel, how much time it will take to reply and what else I have to do at that moment. But I don't feel that a work email is infringing on my private time. Maybe because my line between work and private does not depend on a clock. It's all a mix for me.

So, would you answer that work email on a Saturday night?


Donald said...

No I would not answer that e-mail on Saturday Night. Maybe Sunday morning, more likely Monday.
I wouldn't even read the mail.

Jeff Kaplan said...

Thanks, Donald. I spoke with one friend in government who said that his staff, though not obligated to, have started sending him emails on Sundays trying to be the email at the top of his Inbox come Monday morning so they got his earliest attention.

Gaming the system, but at a price in terms of personal time.