Log off

I regularly work long hours, starting early and finishing late. Not necessarily out of heroism: I’m most likely just making up hours after being distracted by a thought or feeling mid-morning. So yes, I will regularly be found still working late evening, insisting to my family that, “I just need to finish this off.”

Still, I’m persistently amazed by the colleagues who insist on calling past five o’clock to seek advice and input. These are the new remote workers, yet to understand the boundaries between work and home. I have been doing this for a decade. While I value that quiet evening period for actually getting work done, it is not a time for communicating. Never send an email out of hours that might disrupt a colleague’s personal downtime.

Just because you’re a workaholic, it doesn’t mean everyone else has to be. Yes, we all have way too much work to do. But maybe it’s just time to push back and drop a few things, to send the message back up the command chain that they can’t keep expecting more and more for less and less, with minimal reward. Maybe they just need to prioritise differently, so you’re not forced to call a colleague after he should have logged off for the day.

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