When Do You Stop Working? That Includes Checking Email

Posted By on February 6, 2012

I spotted an interesting article in the Sunday paper about how the Brazilian court said employees answering emails after work hours are eligible for overtime. The ruling is huge since it could lead to companies dishing oodles of money.

In a related story published in December, the German-based Volkswagon agreed to stop emailing employees 30 minutes before their shift ends and won’t resume until a half hour before work begins.

Both stories are intriguing. I tell clients all the time (and I practice it myself) to decide what time you stop working each day. Just because we can access work emails 24/7, it doesn’t mean we should.

I work with a number of Type A, high-achieving types, and many of them feel they should always be “on” for work, which means taking a peek at the Blackberry.

Stop checking email: You need the rest

If you are always working, you never get the rest you, your brain and your body needs. Tony Schwartz, author of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, talked about how the need we have for rest and renewal.

Essentially, you need to take the time to rest to be a better employee. Otherwise, you’re more likely to suffer from burnout, and when you’re burned out and stressed out, you can’t be truly productive.

So – decide what time you end work each day. Put down the work email, and rest up. To quote Scarlett O’Hara, tomorrow is another day.



One Response to “When Do You Stop Working? That Includes Checking Email”

  1. Julie Bestry says:

    I find it worth mentioning that as the clock ticks towards 2 a.m. and I am finishing my very odd day, checking email and Twitter has brought me to this post. You’re so right. I always take a break from 8-11p –you can take the girl out of TV, but you can’t take TV out of the girl — but I’m often back at work from 11p until the week hours. Thanks for the excellent reminder.