If you have people working remotely in your business, you're likely used to emails flying around all hours of the day and night. Working late at night isn't new, but are they feeling pressured?
Some people find that working from home has been life-changing because they are able to be more flexible with their time during the day. This allows them to fit in time for school pick-ups and appointments that they might not have been able to do before.
This means that more work is being done outside the usual times and late into the evenings.
In order to make better improvements to Teams, Microsoft recently did an internal survey on how working from home affects collaboration. It found that in a typical workday there were two main spikes in productivity: One before lunch and one after lunch.
For a third of its workers, there was a third productivity spike. This one was outside of the normal workday hours and late into the evening at around 10 at night. That’s a lot of people replying to emails before going to bed.
Where employees have removed commuting time by working from home, their working time and availability have increased.
Within Microsoft, employees increased their working time by 46 minutes – or 13% each day – with a huge 28% increase in working late at night.
And although it sounds great that people are getting more work done and how it could be good for business, it actually demonstrates just how blurred the lines between work and home life have become, post-pandemic.
This third peak of activity has the potential to cause a LOSS of productivity. Employees are feeling more pressured to respond to emails quickly, which increases their stress levels in the evenings. This has a negative effect on morale and overall well-being.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said businesses need to ensure that employee well-being is taken care of by focusing more on good management practices and soft skills.
He advises business owners and managers to set expectations for after-hours work so that employees do not feel any undue pressure to always be available. It's important for your employees to not feel that they have to respond to emails, even if it’s from a manager, during the evenings or on weekends (outside of agreed-upon work times).
Are you setting the right guidelines for productivity and providing employees with the tools they need to be more productive without working late at night?
Here’s a quick tip you can start doing to set a good example for your employees. Instead of sending emails at night, schedule them to be sent the following morning.
When your team sees the boss doing this, it could quickly become the accepted culture of the whole business. Give it a try.
Until next time, keep fit and have fun!
(TYYV) The Yada Yada Version:
Since the pandemic and the work from home culture, more employees are working late at night. Yada yada yada, set a good example of work-life balance and it may just become the accepted culture!