In this instant, constantly connected world that we live in and emails pushing into all sorts of different smartphones, individuals are still receiving and checking their email while on the go, on vacation, or out of the office.
To me, this creates two poignant questions:
1. Why the Out of Office?
This scenario occurs regularly for me. I receive: “I’m currently out of the office on business with limited access to email. If this is time sensitive, please contact my assistant. Otherwise, I will respond when I return on <Insert Date>.” Then, I get a response. So, it begs the question – is this automated message actually necessary?
If you are still going to check your email, albeit less frequently, there really isn’t a need to turn on your Out of Office message. While you may not be physically in the office, if you are still reachable and responding then perhaps it’s time to rethink activating that out of office message before you walk out the door.
2. When Does the Workday End?
If you’re receiving and responding to emails at 6AM, 12PM, 6PM, and 12AM (and anywhere in between), what is your established workday? People expect answers quickly and have become accustomed to the constantly connected workplace. Waiting 24 hours for a response to an email is almost unheard of let alone two to three hours for a text message. How did we get to this type of completely plugged in society that conducts business 24 hours a day?
It’s become an interesting paradigm that makes one wonder how long our society will be able to keep pace and how many people will actually start unplugging on a regular basis.