By Richard Fraser, Editor
17 November 2014 (updated May and July 2015 below)
It’s 11.00 at night or perhaps during the holidays. You’re watching TV or getting ready for bed and your mobile or tablet buzzes with an incoming email. You take a look and it’s from your headteacher / manager. Do you:
- read it;
- read it and respond; or
- leave it until you get to work the next morning/return from leave?
Did s/he send it with the expectation that you’d read it and respond then and there, or is s/he simply working late and not expecting you to respond until working hours/when you return from leave? If it’s the latter, do you still feel guilty if you don’t read it and respond? Do you ever turn your phone off?! If you do turn it off, do you feel guilty about the emails that come in while it’s off? Another thought – if you use your own laptop/tablet and Internet account to access work emails, does it increase your bill?
Do let us know your thoughts… (See comments below.)
Update: 7 May 2015:
An avalanche of often unnecessary emails is contributing to work overload, according to Professor Sir Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University, who advises the Government on health and well-being at work. He is quoted in The Times and The Daily Mail as saying that companies should discourage staff from checking work emails at night, weekends and on holiday, even if that meant shutting down servers after-hours. He said that technology such as laptops, iPads and smart watches were extending the working week:
“Technology, rather than being an enabler, is creating more stress.
“We have embraced technology almost too much. Emails are damaging us, we don’t control them – they control us.
“[Staff] should be discouraged from checking emails after work, when they should be spending time with their family and returning to work refreshed.
“Checking emails on holiday – that’s sick.”
Update 27 July 2015:
Do let us know your thoughts…
This is an out of office email we received from one #schoolleadership team who are putting #wellbeingb4workload. Could your school do the same?#StaffWellbeing #TeacherWellbeing pic.twitter.com/ls7Zn7qcMN — 👩🏫 Education Support 👨🏫 (@EdSupportUK) November 1, 2018
This is an out of office email we received from one #schoolleadership team who are putting #wellbeingb4workload. Could your school do the same?#StaffWellbeing #TeacherWellbeing pic.twitter.com/ls7Zn7qcMN
— 👩🏫 Education Support 👨🏫 (@EdSupportUK) November 1, 2018