Weekend no longer means break from work

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Just because its Saturday, doesn’t mean workers are taking a break.

According to a Right Management survey, more than one-third of workers get regular weekend emails from their boss that they have to respond to, and another one-third occasionally get those kinds of emails.

“The convenience of workplace technology is matched by its pervasiveness and, according to our survey, intrusiveness beyond the workplace,” said Tim Mooney, team management practice leader for Right Management, which provides talent, career and outplacement services to Fortune 500 companies. “For a growing number of workers, their weekend is no longer their own and work is never far from their mind. Being tuned into work seven days a week may become the norm, if it hasn’t already. We are unsure whether this is symptomatic of the high pressured, volatile economy, or just the new ‘business as usual’ workplace.”

Mooney pointed out that Right Management asked if employees were expected to respond to work emails on the weekend.

“It’s one thing to get broadcast or informational emails after office hours, but I’s now a given that everyone has to check their emails at least once a day, Saturday and Sunday included,” he said.

Managers would be wise to make sure expectations around communications are well understood.

“If your work environment calls for employees to be in touch around the clock, it’s important everyone shares that same understanding,” he said. “But if you are a boss that’s working on the weekend, because that is just your style and your only time to catch up, then let employees know if it’s okay for them not to respond during their downtime.”