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Asked by Nathalie on May 5, 2017

What time is too late to email an boss? I usually send emails between 6am-5pm but have found myself emailing sometimes between 5:30-6pm. I know never to send emails over the weekend but I was just wondering what time is too late to send emails?

Answered by Aliyah, Hiring Expert at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, on May 8, 2017

Hello,

The most important aspect to remember is that you are responsive to your manager. I usually  list them as top priority  when clearing my  emails because they are depending on you to provide information or feedback to possibly share with upper management. Also, you would want them to prioritize you the same when you need help from your manager, especially when it is urgent.

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Answered by Ellee, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on May 10, 2017

Hello! I would always be sure you are answering emails within 24 hours, as that is standard business etiquette. I personally don’t believe that sending an email at 6:00pm is too late, as there may be times business needs will require you to work later in the evening. If you find yourself sending emails past 6:00pm, I would begin to determine the importance of the emails you are sending out and question if they could wait until the morning. You can always draft the email so it is ready to send when you walk in the next day, but this would eliminate your thoughts that it may be too late to send an email. Also, if you are out of the office on business travel, you may be required to send emails later in the evening, as that may be the only time you are available to respond.

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Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on May 23, 2017

HI there! This is not a one size fits all question.  The answer depends on your job, the immediacy of the question/response and other factors that would impact the decision to respond.

 If you are working in a position that is on a 24 cycle, there is no time that is off limits for sending email.  If you are an hourly employee who is off the clock, you shouldn't be working.  Pretty straight forward.

If this is an emergency, by all means respond. 

And the last thing I'd like you to think about is talking to your supervisor.  What are the expectations? I would never hesitate to send an email over the weekend, at night, when I have a question, when I have an answer.  Why?  Because I have dialoged with my boss about the expectations of my position, their expectations of my response time and how the flow of work is going to be the most successful.  This is not to say that I'm expected to work 24 hours a day.  This is all about open communication and a true understanding of priorities.

Open the channels of communication!

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