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Do we really need email on our phones?

Do we really need email on our phones?

28 Nov 19:00 by Tony Sivaa

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The vast majority of us have access to email on our phones. It’s the 21st century and that’s just how business runs, right? Well, apparently not.

Last week, I was speaking with a close friend of mine who is quite senior in a very large accountancy practice, in relation to a particular matter and asked for some advice. My request was simple, “I’m heading into this meeting shortly, do you mind reviewing these points?”

I was out of the office, whilst speaking with him on the phone, and without a moment’s hesitation, sent an email with the queries. His response was “mate, can you send me a text? I don’t have email on my phone.”

We had a conversation around this 6 months ago and nothing has changed. He still doesn’t access email on his phone. The reasoning is quite simple. You only check emails when you’re out. Out is either:

Travelling to or from a meeting – in which case, you should be mentally preparing or digesting the appropriate information; not distracted by other emails
Not at work – in which case, if it’s that urgent, someone will call you

There have been times when I’ve been ‘remotely working from a venue of my choosing’ and have been in email conversations as late at midnight. It suits me. My modus operandi means that I spend most of my business hours meeting people and then dealing with admin after hours.

There are people I know who have a separate phone for work and turn it off the moment they finish for the day.

Now, what expectation does this set from the client side? Do your clients expect you to respond to them after hours?

Would you seriously consider not having work emails on your phone? Would you turn your phone off for down time with the family?

What is balance?

Just a couple of points to ponder.