Sunday, March 25, 2012

Now or Later? When to Reply to Weekend Emails

We all live and work in a 24 hour society.  Everyone is connected all the time and we expect to receive answers to questions within minutes, not hours.  Although us GenY working girls really appreciate flexibility in our lives, we also need time to unwind and to mentally take a break.

Although you may feel compelled to be tethered to your smart phone, continuously replying to emails out of hours sets a precedent and a certain level of expectation in your responsiveness.  Here are some tips on when you should reply and what you should let sit in your inbox until Monday.

  1. It's urgent. Really.  There is a true operational emergency.  The business has stopped and no revenue is coming in and it's imperative the issue is resolved immediately to alleviate any additional loss in sales.  Here you should reply immediately, without hesitation.  
  2. Someone else is cleaning out their inbox.  Some people have no time to manage their inbox effectively during the week as they spend much of their day in meetings (sigh).  In order to catch-up, they must take some time over the weekend to crank out a few responses.  Don't feel compelled to respond, this person just wants to start fresh on Monday.
  3. It depends.  Depending on your mood, you might be inclined to reply immediately.  If you are ready to engage in email ping pong, go for it.  If you are zoning out for the weekend, opt to catch up on Monday.  
Cheryl Reynolds
College Girl to Working Girl

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