I’ve been working from home for 5 years and it seems as though it’s becoming increasingly more common to have work e-mails pour in around 7,8, or 9:00 at night. I used to spend my evenings checking those e-mails, and responding as soon as possible. That meant that between responding to e-mails, and monitoring social media sites, I was working 100% of the time, and to be honest I was exhausted. I was sick of not having a boundary between my home life and work life, so recently I decided not to look at or respond to e-mails or work phone calls until the morning.
Now I know what some of you are thinking; It doesn’t take a ton of time to check your e-mail to see if something important happened and needs responding to. And to you I say, “But why? 99.9% of those e-mails are not time sensitive and can wait until the morning for a response.”
In the past, I’ve had clients who don’t respect my personal time and instead of contacting me during normal business hours, they chose to contact me on nights and weekends. Because of this, I made the decision to treat my e-mail and business phone like an office. After 5 and on the weekends, I am unavailable. Sure if I get a phone call and a voicemail I’ll listen to it, but if it’s not important I’m not going to call back until the next day. I truly don’t believe that just because we have the technology to work from wherever that we should be expecting an immediate response from an e-mail sent at 9:00 p.m.
As a person who works from home and already has trouble distinguishing home life from work life, this is the line I’ve drawn. I know not everyone may agree with this, but it’s the decision I made in order to allow myself to completely relax and enjoy my nights and weekends.
So to all those work from home-ers, I say, “After 5:00 go relax, and have a glass of wine. That e-mail or phone call will be there in the morning.”
What do you think? Am I living in the past or is this something more people should be doing? Let me know in the comment section below!