Do you ever really clock out?

November 2022

Business Delivery Manager, Rory Cleat, checked in with his LinkedIn audience to ask how they manage their email inboxes outside of nine to five. 

Credit: Stephen Phillips/Unsplash

Not so many years ago, when employees left the office, they would leave their emails behind. Now however, we all have instant access to our inboxes whether we’re on the train, at the supermarket or in the midst of a very important box set. Post-pandemic there has been much discussion about the use of work email outside of business hours and I was curious to see how this resonated with my LinkedIn audience.

In my poll, I asked my community, ‘Do you regularly send emails out with your normal working hours’ and offered four possible responses: ‘Yes, I never fully clock out’, ‘Maybe, if time sensitive’, ‘I’d respond but not reach out’, and ‘Never’. This proved to be something of a divisive subject with 37% of the 97 participants confirming that they regularly send emails in their own time, and 30% sharing that they will send messages if they are urgent. The remaining 32% was split cleanly in half across the final two options. 

While out-of-hours email etiquette may be down to the individual or the business, this has certainty been a hot topic over the past three years. During the pandemic, there were numerous reports of workers struggling to set clearly defined boundaries between their professional and their home lives. Indeed, one US study found that out-of-hours emails increased by 8.3% during the pandemic.

In order to address the imbalance felt by many employees, several countries around the world have implemented legislation to help manage work communications. Italy, Spain, Slovakia, and Portugal are among a number of countries that have implemented the ‘right to disconnect’ to allow employees to disengage from their professional communications outside of the office. There has even been some interest in rules of this kind within the UK. 

Excellent communication is at the heart of MM Search, however we also believe that creating a work-life balance is crucial to productivity, mental health, family life, wellbeing and much more. In order to support the team in striking a work-life balance that fits with their other commitments, MM Search offers flexible work schedules that can be adapted to fit around childcare, sports and studies. We also arrange regular social events within the office to ensure that everyone is thriving and growing together.

The team are also able to arrange sessions with Health and Wellbeing Consultant, Melanie Higgenbotham, who uses an integrated healing approach to help us feel balanced, healthy and happy. We believe so passionately in the importance of finding balance that we also offer our candidates time with Melanie so the they can start their new roles in the best possible position.

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