The great part about email is that it means we can get work done no matter what time it is. Unfortunately, the not-so- great part about email is that it means we think we should get work done no matter what time it is. If you ask American professionals what their biggest source of stress and worry is at work, they’re likely to say it’s the anxiety they feel when looking at their email inboxes. Because emails pour into our inboxes constantly throughout the workday, we’re always aware that there’s a pile of questions sitting there waiting for us to answer them — some of which may be urgent. What’s more, since many of us have our work email accounts connected to our laptops, smartphones and/or tablets, we may experience that anxiety long after we’ve gone home for the night. More than 269 billion emails are sent every day, and the pressure to read and respond to work emails can be intense.

All of that adds up to a large number of professionals taking time out of their hard-earned free time to answer work emails after hours. A survey of 1,000 Americans reveals some interesting aspects about the after-hours email habits of professionals.

For example:

  • Twenty-five percent of people say they’ve never sent a work email after 6 p.m., but 23 percent say they’ve sent work emails after midnight.

  • Men are far more likely to send work emails after 9 p.m. than women — with 62 percent of men admitting to it compared to 46 percent of women.

  • From a generational perspective, Gen Xers are the most likely to send work emails after midnight, whereas nearly half of millennials say they’ve never sent a work email after 9 p.m.

  • Fifty-nine percent of people report having received emails from their co-workers after hours, but only a quarter of those people say they don’t like it.

  • As people’s income increases, they become slightly more accepting of receiving emails after hours. Only about 20 percent of people who make more than $105,000 per year say they refuse to check their email during their time off.

  • Three-quarters of people say they check their work email on their days off, including weekends. Of those people, more than one-third of them say they check their email frequently during their days off.

  • Forty-three percent of women say they completely ignore work email while on vacation, but only 33 percent of men say they do the same.

  • More than one-third of people say they never check their work email during their vacations.

  • Forty-three percent of people say they feel more important when they receive frequent work emails, with Millennials the most likely to feel important when they get work emails.

The following infographic breaks down the responses to this survey and provides

more detail about the many ways in which American professionals deal with work

emails after hours.

work-email-trends-infographic (1).png

SOURCES trends emails-are-sent-every-day-1171210


John Murphy - President of Reachmail

Written by John Murphy - President of Reachmail

As President of ReachMail, John Murphy continues what he's been doing since 1999 – helping marketers improve their email marketing campaigns. As a VP at InfoUSA, John managed email marketing programs for Oracle, Citrix Online and the University of Wisconsin.