Sunday night is the new Monday morning

emailI recently read an article on how Sunday night is the new Monday morning. The article stated, “In 2014, 32 percent of workers polled by Gallup said their employers generally expect them to check e-mail and stay in touch remotely outside of normal business hours.”

In our experience, family members take special advantage of that.

This makes me think of an agreement I have with my son and partner, David. At my point in life, every day is a Monday or a Sunday. There’s no difference because I don’t have to think about soccer games, singing lessons, and break time to be with my wife and kids. My kids are grown, an occasional golf game can come mid-week, my office is in my home, and my wife and I are both in a 24/7 work/play mode – whatever we plan or opt to do at the moment, we do.

It’s different for David. His week-ends are his time for his family and himself. So, we have an agreement. I don’t call him on his business line or cell phone regarding business issues, other than in an emergency, on Saturdays and Sundays. Family related calls on either his cell or house phone are permitted. When it comes to emails, we have a further agreement. When I think of something, I tend to prefer dealing with it immediately. That means I could pepper him with dozens of emails all week-end long starting at 5:00 AM on a Saturday morning. In order to stop what would be an annoyance and intrusion on David’s personal time, I create one email, add all my thoughts, ideas, requests, etc., to it throughout the week-end. I save it as a draft to be sent at 5:00 PM on Sunday, because I know that’s what David prefers as he prepares his work week on Sunday nights.

Respect for personal time and space is an important component of working with family members. We hear stories, especially from younger generation members, that they have little or no desire to be with other family members on the week-ends because they spend so much time together at work.

Caution: set boundaries to make it work for both family and the business.

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