On a recent weekend night, mid-dinner with my family, an email from a manager abruptly materialized on my phone's notification screen. Within an instant the state of my internal dialog transitioned from pleasant to frantic; I couldn’t focus on the conversation, my eyes glazed over, I tuned out of the table talk. The infraction might seem small – I didn’t miss any breaking world news – but I lost a few moments of precious personal time and probably offended my family.
The phenomenon of feeling ‘on’ 24/7, exemplified by small moments like this one, shows no sign of slowing. According to the General Social Survey, the proportion of employees who report that their job sometimes or often interferes with family life increased by 23% from 2002 to 2014.
This phenomenon is compounded by the rise of flexible work arrangements - according to a 2015 study by SHRM, an increasing number of organizations allow employees to telecommute and work flexible hours. These arrangements have shown resoundingly positive results, but they also create a strong imperative for organizations to openly discuss norms around work hours; the definition of 'after-hours' work increasingly varies by individual, making it more onerous for teams as a whole to establish concrete boundaries between work and personal life.
Teams that proactively hold conversations around after-hours work and collaboration are likely to do a better job attracting, retaining, and motivating the best talent.
MyAnalytics now shows you the after-hours impact you impose on co-workers
MyAnalytics helps you understand how you spend your time at work and coaches you towards building better work habits. Now, the MyAnalytics add-in for Outlook shows you the after-hours impact you impose on your colleagues.
As shown above, I recently imposed an after-hours burden on three team members. “Impact” is defined as the number of days on which a co-worker responded after-hours to an email I sent them outside of my business hours. The range of hours considered to be "after-hours" is determined by your Outlook calendar settings, which you can view and edit in the Outlook desktop client by clicking File -> Options -> Calendar -> Work time.
Simply having awareness of this impact has been a strong catalyst for action. I now do my best to avoid bothering co-workers at night; when I must work on an email at night, I usually schedule it to deliver the following day rather than sending it immediately (yes, this is possible in Outlook - just go to the Options tab on your email draft and click the "Delay Delivery" button).
Culture change starts with awareness
Any conversation around team norms and culture starts with awareness - and in an ideal world, this awareness is built on data. MyAnalytics provides teams the data they need to have informed conversations about their culture. We even put together this team kickoff plan to help your team get started with MyAnalytics, as well as case studies from Macy's and NASCAR that show how organizations are actively using MyAnalytics today to transform their work culture.