What happens when employees send emails after hours?

Their well-being tends to suffer and so may their performance.

First, why might this happen so much?

  • Email receivers overestimate senders' response speed expectations. (But a small adjustment can mitigate this!) (Guirge and Bohns 2021)

Main effects:


  • Negative effects are stronger among those who feel more "telepressure", i.e. a psychological state characterized by a preoccupation and urge to respond to work-related messages (Tedone 2022), lower work-home boundaries (Barber and Jenkins 2014), and lower conscientiousness (Li and She 2022)
  • Receiving after-hour emails that have a more negatively perceived tone seems to increase fatigue at bedtime (Minnen et al 2020)
  • Smartphone use for work may be especially bad relative to other technologies like computers or tablets for sleep and depletion (Lanaj et al 2014).


  • Research is almost entirely correlational and relies on self-reported measures

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