When Your Boss Emails & Texts After Hours


It’s one thing to get an occasional email or text from your boss after hours. Perhaps they forgot to communicate an important detail to you. Or they want you to get to work on an important project first thing in the morning. But when it’s a regular and constant situation, it can be hard to deal with.

However, you’re not alone. That may be why in France, for instance, the government is now enforcing a new law where employees can legally ignore work emails outside of office hours. The new law went into effect January 1, 2017. One French legislator said the purpose of it was to help employees who “leave the office, but they do not leave their work.”

Back here in the United States, it’s legal for your boss to contact you at any hour. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best management decision.

Here are some steps you can take to successfully – and diplomatically – navigate the situation:

  • If you’re new to a company, then it’s in your best interest to always answer immediately for at least the first six months while you’re still establishing your reputation there.
  • If you’ve worked somewhere for a while, then you probably have a good sense of whether or not an email or text is urgent. If it’s not, then don’t act on it until the next day. Chances are, your boss just fired off a communication to you when something came to mind. And it’s perfectly reasonable for you to respond the following day in the office.
  • If it continues and is becoming problematic, consider talking to your boss about it – especially if you’re a good performer. Ask if there’s a reason for sending so many texts or emails after hours on non-urgent matters. Also, gently let him or know it’s detracting from your time at home with your family.
  • If your boss tells you they need you to respond to emails and texts at all times, then it’s up to you to decide if that’s the kind of boss and job you really want.
  • Finally, if you have the type of job that requires constant contact, especially on the weekends and during evenings, then after-hours communications simply come with the territory. It’s something you’ll have to get used to.

Need more tips for career management and dealing with workplace issues?

Check out our resource center. If, however, you’re more interested in finding a new job, be sure to contact PrideStaff. As one of Phoenix’s top employment agencies, we can connect you with rewarding jobs and leading employers in and around the city.