Zmail Policy

Recently, I had a boss who was an early bird.  As a matter of practice, we would receive emails in the wee hours of the morning and on the weekends.  She sent email when she was most productive and I never felt like she expected an answer immediately.  It didn’t bother me, but she changed her practice after reading “Your Late-Night Emails Are Hurting Your Team” and it had ripple effects with our team.  When she stopped sending early morning and weekend emails it changed how I worked.  It took some getting used to, but I stopped scanning early morning emails and marking them unread until I got to the office.  I left my phone in the bedroom during the weekend.  My significant other appreciated seeing me without my phone.  I managed my attention to be focused on work or focused on home.  My boss didn’t have to change when she worked.  She just delayed the messages to go out during our typical work hours. 

Read the article for the details on what a “zmail policy” that discourages emails on weekends and afterhours on weekdays might do for your team.  With all that we need to do to make sure our students and teachers are supported, we require downtime.  Don’t just slog through until Spring Break.  Manage your attention and help your staff disconnect when they are away from work.   

Thomas, Maura.  2015, March 16). “Your Late-Night Emails Are Hurting Your Team.”  Harvard Business Review