It's nighttime and definitely past your 5 p.m. workday end. However, you just remembered you forgot to inform your employees about something they need for their assignments. Or maybe you need your accounting department to rework your financial plan or a team forgot to submit a proposal to you for approval. What should you do?
What you shouldn't do is contact your staff past working hours.
Hinders work-home separation
Researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington found that employees who receive work-related communications while at home experience anger and sometimes life-inhibiting results. For those who want to separate their family lives from their job, receiving texts, emails or phone calls from coworkers or their boss can cause an interference in workers' lives. The last thing employees want to do is worry about their work at home. Instead they'd like to relax with their families and not think about what they left at 5 p.m. Contacting your employees after hours prohibits this from happening.
"Smartphones and the accompanying culture of 'always on' has made after-hours communication ubiquitous," Dean of UTA's College of Business Rachel Croson said in the press release. "But, like everything else in business, it can be done well or badly, and implementation is critical for success."
To help promote this separation of the workplace and home, implement policies that discourage after-work communications – 21 percent of businesses have similar rules, according to Time. If you feel the need to send an email after hours, it also doesn't hurt to conclude with telling the recipient there's no need to respond or designating hours where you expect a response, the source suggested.
Causes more harm than good
If you're working late, your employees will feel like they have to do the same. When you're sending emails to your workers at night or on the weekends, they'll feel like they're required to respond, Harvard Business Review explained. The idea of telepressure makes people think they need to immediately answer any communication, causing 52 percent of Americans check their emails outside of working hours, Time reported.
This constant communication can deplete your employees, HBR explained. Employees need time to recharge, and they can't do that when they're expecting work-related emails and texts while at home. The lack of downtime not only hurts your workers, but your business as well. Productivity, creativity and motivation fall by the wayside when employees work brains remain on at all hours.
While it may seem like after-work communication is necessary with your employees, you might want to reconsider. Both your business and your staff will benefit from designated work and home hours.