US Managers Not Reluctant to Email Subordinates After Hours, Study Says

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The vast majority of managers in the United States said they would contact their employees outside of work hours, unlike supervisors in many European countries where emailing subordinates after hours is banned by law, according to a new survey by Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The study, released Thursday and conducted among 150 managers, found 82.9% of supervisors said they would reach out to their employees after hours, with 28.6% of those respondents expecting an answer within a few hours. Nearly 49% said that while they would reach out after hours, they would not expect a response until the next workday. Only 17% of respondents said they would hold off on contacting an employee until the next workday.

Nearly 80% of managers stated they would use email or text message. Forty-two percent would call their subordinates, while nearly 25% would use social media or chat software to contact their workers.

According to the Challenger survey, respondents indicated that the after-hours contact should be work-related. Eighty-seven percent of managers said they would contact a subordinate after work with a work-related emergency, while 41% said they would do so for other professional reasons.

Most companies do not have any kind of policy on contacting subordinates outside working hours, according to the Challenger survey. Nearly 88% of companies have no such policy, and only 3% are working on one.