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How to torpedo your colleague’s after hours?

You must have experienced an incident like this: you are having Saturday brunch with your friends. You get a message from your colleague about a tiny issue at work. An issue which could have waited till Monday. But, instead of throwing it out of your head, you start to ponder on it: “Should I fix it tonight? Should I skip the movie, go home, and fix it? Or, should I go home right away, and fix it? Or, ….” That message might have spoiled your meal.

It is easy to draw someone’s attention to a silly thing and spoil their mood, even without being around them. But, do we need to? Can it wait for a better time?

Matt on scheduling messages in Telegram:

I like scheduling messages, especially as a CEO, I find that I’m working all the time, but if I send someone a message at 9:00 PM on Friday, even if I say, “This is not urgent, don’t reply until Monday,” or something like that, they feel the pressure – if they see it, it kind of takes them out. So, on Telegram you can post and schedule it for Monday morning. Usually about 9:00 AM, people will get a lot of scheduled messages from me that have come from the previous, probably 12 to 14 hours. And that way also, if I send a message, if there were a true emergency, I would want the message to be noticed. So, by keeping things mostly to the day and anything that’s not an emergency not happening at night, it kind of makes it more important.

Matt Mullenweg, CEO, Automattic

When it comes to things at work, it’s not just the CEO of a company who can spoil someone’s lovely time, anyone at work can spoil their colleague’s time with a message. Please be mindful of the precious time and attention of your colleagues.

Collaboration apps like Slack and Basecamp allow you to turn off notifications during non working hours. Almost all phones have scheduled do not disturb mode. But, many people don’t use those features. And, when they get a message late in the evening they will read it. Why spoil their time?


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