If you’re still short of a new year’s resolutions (yeah, been struggling too – it’s something about wanting to be unique with it so people go ‘ooooooh that’s a good one’ when you tell them because we’re sad enough to need that kind of approval), then we’ve got one you’re welcome to borrow: ignoring your boss as soon as you leave work.
Trust us on this: just because your boss emails you late at night, doesn’t mean you have to reply. Why? Because science says so. Researchers at the University of Surrey have gone through the results of 65 different studies on employees and have resolutely found that smartphones and work are a match made in hell and have an almost entirely negative impact on your health, happiness and working abilities.
Here’s why it’s perfectly acceptable to slack off once you leave work:
If you reply to emails at 11pm, people will think you’re available then
If someone’s emailed you late at night, they probably thought twice about it – a bit of a ‘ooh erm, is this rude? Fuck it, they probably won’t see it until the next day’ before they hit send. You reply to that email and you’re indulging their behaviour.
Plus, who would you respect more, the employee who replies at 11:49pm like they've just been waiting for you to get in touch or the one that thinks you’re not important enough to infringe on their social life? Also, do you really think your boss wants your reply to deal with at 11:50pm? Nah, they’d rather wait until morning too.
You’re working and not being paid for it
The University of Surrey study found that all that time spent on your phone out of hours add up to plenty more than just an extra hour here and there (which obviously you don’t mind doing because you’re not a dick). Turns out the average extra time spent working out of office thanks to smartphones was a *full day *a week (two if you’re a manager).
Consider this: if you were paid by the hour would you work an extra day out of the goodness of your heart? Absolutely not.
It’ll probably mess with your new year health regime
According to researcher Svenja Schlachter, staying ‘switched on’ at night is not good for your precious health. ‘In the long run it can… be detrimental to wellbeing due to stress and work-life balance issues.’
Since it's January and you’re busting your arse eating an intricate diet and trying to shed pounds at the gym, why would you ruin it all with late night emails?
It’ll make you (more) shit at work
If you’re worried about the impact ignoring night emails will have on your career then consider this: a study from the Journal of Organisational Behaviour and Human Decision Process (it’s a laugh riot) found that using a smartphone at 9pm meant that you were almost certain to have less sleep that night. In turn that had a knock-on affect to how engaged you were in work that day.
If you’re going to fail at work in one area, would you rather have it be IRL when your boss is right in front of you or when you’re not actually on the clock?
Here are a few handy hints to help you combat those night emails:
Turn off notifications when you leave work
I mean obviously. OBVIOUSLY. Settings>Notifications>Mail>Allow notifications. Job done.
Get on board with Cronote
If you absolutely have to write that email now or you’ll worry about it all night then make use of Cronote – the app that lets you write your message now and then choose when it’s sent. Plus, you can have a little read of it again before you send it, which is probably good if you wrote your email with one eye open and a couple of glasses of wine in you.
Tailor your availibilty
If your boss thinks it’s cool to call and text you when you’re not answering your emails, set up your phone’s do not disturb mode. For iPhone, Settings>Do Not Disturb then schedule the time you don’t want to be bothered on – like 10pm to 8am? That’ll do nicely.
Android also has this ace app called Power Schedule that lets you determine when certain things like Wi-Fi and data connection on your phone are available.
Like this? Then you might also be interested in:
Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons
Picture: Ada Hamza
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.