Is Sending Work E-mail After Midnight a Good Idea?

No! A resounding no!

Some corporate e-mailers may think they’re impressing their bosses, peers, or subordinates by sending e-mails in the middle of the night. And while an occasional 3 a.m. e-mail may be forgiven, think again.

It doesn’t take much to understand why. Just turn the tables and note how you feel when you see the time stamp as some ungodly hour!

So, from the boss’s perspective, consider these questions:

• Why is Jim up at 4 a.m. regularly? Is he getting enough sleep? Is he in control? Is he stressed out? Is he out of balance?

• Is Rebecca just trying to impress me? Does she think that I value this behavior? Doesn’t she know how to delay the sending of the e-mail to a normal hour?

Also consider what employees might be wondering:

• Yikes. My boss is e-mailing me at 3 a.m.! I wonder if he expects me to do that, too?!

• I better check my e-mail first thing in the morning; the boss may have sent me something again in the middle of the night. How’s that for wake-up stress?

• Whasssamatter with her? Is she losing it? Why can’t my boss get a good night’s sleep?

• Since he’s working 24/7, I assume he wants me to also. Gad, I hate my job.

In addition to these unhealthy perceptions, you’re taking a real risk e-mailing when you haven’t had a full night’s sleep, or you woke up in anger because of an issue at work.

Give it a rest. Or at the very least don’t send it till you’ve had a chance to review it in the light of day.

Marsha Egan Reading, Pa.

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