Is it OK to Send Emails Late at Night?

We sure do a lot of talking about email. About how to organize your inbox, attain the elusive Inbox Zero or keep your email messages short and sweet. So here we have another quandary for you: Would you send a 3 a.m. email to your boss or a client?

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The awesome thing about email is that you can send messages to anyone nearly anywhere, and you can do it instantly, no matter what the time of day.

So sending an email at 3 a.m. should be a novelty of new media, not a reason to stress out. And yet, we find ourselves asking if it's OK to send emails late at night.

We can see two potential problems to late-night messaging:

  • It tunes the recipient in to your (lack of) sleep schedule. You probably don't want your boss—or anyone else, really—wondering what you were doing to stay up until the wee hours of the morning.
  • It might disturb them if they have loud alerts on their phone. Yeah, we know—if they leave their Blackberry next to their pillow with messaging alerts set to the loudest tone, they've got nobody to blame but themselves. You still don't want to be the one that wakes them up with a less-than-urgent email.


What do you think? Is it OK to send late-night emails? Or do you steer clear of non-9-to-5 conversations? Tell us in the comments!


(Images: Flickr member oso licensed for use under Creative Commons, Flickr member rivalius13 licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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Taryn is a writer, maker, designer, and editor of lifestyle blog Formal Fringe. She lives in an apartment in Atlanta with her fiancé, their Boston Terrier and lots of serving dishes.

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