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Are you a slave to your Gmail?

Out of hours emails

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I have a terrible habit of responding to client emails straight away even after working hours. I want to change this aspect in 2017. 

I will do an out of office responder to say your email will be responded to during office working hours. 

What is your email etiquette? Like me, are you a slave to your Gmail or whichever other providers you use. 

Replies (16)

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By Mr_awol
22nd Dec 2016 12:30

I don't really think its necessary to send an out of office response outside of business hours.

I'll answer it if I see it and its quick, but if not I wont. If anyone doesn't like that, they can find another advisor

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Portia profile image
By Portia Nina Levin
22nd Dec 2016 12:42

I have just set my out of office. "F**k off, it is Christmas. I will be back in the New Year. Seasoned Greetings."

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Replying to Portia Nina Levin:
By FirstTab
22nd Dec 2016 13:16

Portia, Your response did make me laugh.

Please do not get banned. Your humour and tax skills are needed during the tax returns season.

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Replying to Portia Nina Levin:
By Tornado
22nd Dec 2016 13:34

What an educational site this is.

Full of interesting technical terms.

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By cheekychappy
22nd Dec 2016 12:45

All my emails are sent during office hours.

I do prepare emails outside of office hours, however. But I wouldn't send them until the next day.

I don't want to give the impression to clients that they can email me at 8 o'clock at night and should expect an immediate response.

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By Tim Vane
22nd Dec 2016 14:28

I'm thinking of taking more regular bathroom breaks. I sometimes leave it too long and end up having to rush the last few yards.

Does the community have any suggestions on how to judge this at work? Are you a slave to your own bladder? Should you give a rat's [***]?

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Replying to Tim Vane:
Portia profile image
By Portia Nina Levin
22nd Dec 2016 14:34

Have you considered catheterisation Tim? I am writing a book about rat's [***] donations, by the way.

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By Duggimon
22nd Dec 2016 15:26

I get emails from clients in the evenings all the time, sometimes I'll read them and more rarely I'll sometimes respond. It's never actually occurred to me that any of them might expect a response there and then, they're just emailing me when it's convenient for them and I respond in kind, the few I do reply to in the evenings tend to seem surprised by it.

I even had one client tell me off for doing so, she said in future I was to wait until I was working.

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By Brunel
25th Dec 2016 05:46

A reply begets a follow up, so best to introduce some time delay and train clients to batch up questions

On the other hand, if it's a quick one-liner, good to impress with personal attention and above expected service when I get the chance

I too write replies out of hours and save as drafts to send in office hours. Don't want clients to know how hard I have to work to build up my practice

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By Brunel
25th Dec 2016 05:47

Oh the irony, a post about not replying to emails outside of office hours at 6:15 Christmas morning

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By Counting numbers
05th Jan 2017 11:31

Strictly, I only respond to emails during business hours. I don't have emails set up on my phone either. It's such a bad habit. It's perfectly acceptable to reply to emails during business hours.

PS. Tim you are hilarious!! Chuckle

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By North East Accountant
06th Jan 2017 08:23

Very rarely out of hours and then only if I am responding to something from earlier.

Speaking of earlier it's Friday today and I have some from Tuesday still to reply to.

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By nick farrow
06th Jan 2017 12:12

best thing i ever did was not have my work email available on my mobile or home devices

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All Paul Accountants in Leeds
By paulinleeds
08th Jan 2017 18:24

I've just been reading on AccountingWeb that the old fashioned '9 to 5' accountant is slowly being decommissioned, like the dinasour, and we need to move with the times and get up to speed with technology. 'Office hours' are whatever you make them.

Sometimes, it's nice to have less emails to answer in the morning. I don't accept that you have to reply after work. If you want to then do so.

Seriously, I think we all have to recognise that we all work differently and that all our clients are different. I don't start work until around 10:30 am, though I then work until late into the night. It works for me and I work from home doing long hours.

A lot of my clients don't sit at a computer all day or wish to reply on their smart phones during the day. They deal with emails and admin after the 'day job'. I have no objections to sending or receiving emails anytime of the day; just don't expect a reply straight away if it's late.

To me, what is important is if you cannot / won't reply within 24 hours e.g. because of work load or time of night received, that you at least acknowledge the email next day and possibly give an idea when a reply will come. If it's a quick reply then reply within a day or tell them when to expect a reply. I cannot stand waiting days for a reply, especially for a few line reply.

I had a client of mine moan that I sent his quarter end payroll bill at 6:45 pm on New Year's Eve. I had 5 clients pay the bill before midnight, so some people do work later than me. It's a pity that he didn't pay the bill on 4 January when he emailed in reply. It would have been another bill paid!

It would be a funny world if we were all the same!

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By petersaxton
08th Jan 2017 19:16

I just email responses when I can. If I am doing other work I continue with that work. If I am doing something personal I continue with that. If I decide to look at my email inbox I look at that and decide when I can respond. I don't have any rules about when I respond. I just use common sense.

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By Mr Hobbit
25th Jan 2017 13:07

I was a slave to Gmail and got into a very bad habit of responding to emails immediately. I never switched off much to my family's frustration.
As I ended up with no work/life balance, I decided to make a change. I don't expect my staff to respond to emails outside working hours, I don't respond to emails outside working hours and I never email my staff outside working hours. My advice would be to log off at the end of your working day.
Well done France on their 'Right to disconnect' law. We should consider adopting something similar here.

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