The email time stamp perception

Gone are the work days of Monday to Friday and nine to five. We are all working longer hours and that work/life balance we all strive towards is a little uneven. Some positions have you working late into the night and after a quick sleep (usually feels like a blink) you are back at the computer before the birds even start chirping. Some jobs and especially if you run your own business, the work hours seem to operate more like a city convenience store – 24/7!

Even though we are working late and weekends we need to consider something about our emailing and that is the time we send them.

Now bear with me, as this may be something you haven’t even considered as you bash away on your keyboard till all hours of the night but you need to think how your email time stamp may be perceived.

I remember back in my corporate days, the very last thing I would do before I turned off the computer would be to send an email to my boss, just so they would know how late and hard I had been working, however, ask yourself how your email stamp, in your situation, is being viewed. For example, let’s say you have your own business as a networking expert and as much as we all appreciate how hard it is to run your own show, it might not be perceived that you are really the expert you say you are if you are in your office at 9pm on a Saturday evening instead of, well, networking at some event.

Keep thinking of how all your actions will be perceived. Sure some people may think nothing or they may think you are a hard worker, they might think “what about your family/partner/sleep/life?!!” (especially if you are a work/life balance or quality of life coach) and some may question if you have the capacity to give them quality work if you are so pressed for time that you need to labour late into the night……

Getting emails in the middle of the night also might make people question what you have been doing online till 2am. Sure the reality may be that you have to do these sorts of hours, but that is what the draft folder is for and send the email first thing in the morning. There is a big difference between some people’s perception of a late night internet user and a hard working early riser.

Yes it’s true that some people won’t look twice at the time stamp, I do it out of curiosity and others will do it and judge. Sadly with ten thousand thoughts going through our heads each day judging is just what us humans seem to do naturally and that’s what I’m here to help you with, to stay behaviourally neutral.

I would say, to keep on the safe side, no pressing that email send button between nine to five (that’s 9pm to 5am). So keep your send button only working within the old school and more conservative work hours, even if you’re not.

What do you think when you get a late or middle of the night email?

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