Are your team still working at 10pm?

During the pandemic, when your team were working remotely, did you notice that they spent longer working?  This is also true after the pandemic when your staff work from home as it’s easy to keep working when your commute is just a few steps.

The boss of Microsoft and other large corporations says we should be setting clear expectations for our staff, that they don’t need to respond to late night emails or work at weekends.

Satya Nadella, the boss of Microsoft, recently announced the results of an internal survey.

A third of Microsoft workers have a daily peak of work at 10pm.

Their average workday has increased by 46 minutes since the pandemic started. And time spent on out of hours work is up by 28 per cent.

Whilst you might be fooled into thinking you have a more productive staff if they are working longer hours, you would be wrong.  Everybody knows the more tired you become the less productive you are, and the chances of mistakes creeping into your work becomes higher.

A good work / life balance is the best way to ensure you have happy, productive staff.  Sure, emergencies will happen which will require out of hours working, but these really should be the exception rather than the norm.

An easy win to keep your staff happy and productive is to make sure they’re not stressed by replying to emails late at night, when they should be relaxing or spending time with their family.

As the boss you can set an example. Instead of sending emails at night, schedule them to be sent the following morning.  Better still put a rule, or change your company culture so that emails should not be checked between the hours of 7pm- 7am during the week, and a complete ban on the weekend, if your staff are not scheduled to be working those hours.