How Often Should Employees Check E-Mail After Hours?

If you’re an associate at the law firm Quinn Emanuel, the answer is “very, very often.”  According to legal tabloid, Above the Law, clients of the firm expect their attorneys to be on call 24/7.  Well, according to a memo written by a partner and circulated to associates, 24/7 may be “something of an exaggeration-but not much.”

In fact, the memo tells associates, they should check their e-mail while they’re in the office, as well as during off-duty time.  Specifically, unless there is a “good reason not to,” which the memo defines as “when you are asleep, in court, or in a tunnel,” associates are expected to check their e-mails once an hour. 

How would your employees respond to a directive like this? How would such an instruction affect morale, not too mention productivity.  This means that, when out to dinner, associates would have to check their Blackberries twice, maybe more, during the meal.  How romantic.

One thought on “How Often Should Employees Check E-Mail After Hours?

  1. Clearly part of the territory for a Professional position and (exemption), it would be interesting to see how this would play out under a flsa non exempt like an office clerical person – even if voluntary – would it trigger overtime? What if the person took time to respond to the email?

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