If you are using a smartphone, you will understand the difficulty of maintaining a successful work-life balance without throwing your phone out your window. It gets worse if you are in a work-related Whatsapp group chat with your colleagues and bosses.
We understand that sometimes your workload can spill over into your personal time, but according to this article, instant messaging applications have made it difficult for employees to draw a clear line between work life and private life. After all, people expect you to reply an instant message fairly quickly. To add on to the pressure, the last-seen timestamp and the double ticks feature on Whatsapp will let others know if you have read their messages, making it more difficult for you to avoid replying. So how do you prevent yourself from worrying about things that can wait till the next day?
Simple, you mute the work-related group chats after office hours. (instructions here)
Sure you might miss out on a few messages from your colleagues over the weekend but rest assured that if it is really urgent, it would warrant a call instead of a text message.
Of course it is near-impossible to avoid all communication with our colleagues after office hours, but there are a few guidelines that can make things a little easier for everyone.
The first thing you can do is to let your employers and colleagues know that you do not check your phone often after work and that is best to just give you a call if it is an urgent matter. That way, they will know to assess the situation first before firing you a flurry of Whatsapp messages about every minor thing. Secondly, you should extend the same consideration to your colleagues and not Whatsapp them unnecessarily over the weekend.
An alternative to sending out an instant message is to send an email instead. That way, the recipients will be able to read it first thing in the morning and you will not ruin anyone’s weekend by reminding them of work. If you are an employer, it would also help if you assign non-urgent tasks over email or in person instead of Whatsapp.
And here’s a fun fact: Do you know that Mr Subhas Anandan, one of Singapore’s top criminal lawyers, does not own a mobile phone?
What rules and etiquettes do you follow when you contact your colleagues after office hours? Share them with us in the comments section below!