'Always on' | Boss excuses slow email replies saying 'I need time to think'

Boss excuses slow email replies saying 'I need time to think'

The immediacy of modern workplace technology has lulled some employees into the false concept that all queries to their bosses should be answered instantaneously. However, when replies are rushed how can bosses ensure that their answers are truly considered?

Whilst some may hastily draft a non-committal reply to get an employee off of their back, one boss recently took to Mumsnet asking whether it was unreasonable for her to take more than a day to reply to emails because she needed “a lot of time to think”.

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Comments (3)

  • Stuart Pownall
    Stuart Pownall
    Wed, 6 Nov 2019 9:16am GMT
    When I read the first few paragraphs I had an opinion. After reading more it sounds like this particular case has more to it (her alleged lack of organisation). My first thoughts were that waiting for a response to non-urgent emails shouldn't be an issue. I know from experience that if I don't answer a question straight away, give myself time to think about the answer, I come up with a much more sound, useful and well-rounded response. I have previously made a point of telling my colleagues that this is the case and that if they want the best answer from me they should give me time to consider all the points. If they need an urgent response they will let me know. Everyday emails with no specific questions are of course dealt with as quickly as I can.
  • Chris Ball
    Chris Ball
    Tue, 5 Nov 2019 2:11pm GMT
    That really depends on whether there is a need to look up rules, legal points, company policy etc in order to give a proper answer. Firing from the hip is not always (or ever) the right response. On the other hand, if a longer time frame is needed for accuracy, fact checking etc, a holding response is generally possible. "Can't say right now but give me a few days and I will check and come back to you," sort of response is not a bad thing.
  • Boris
    Boris
    Tue, 5 Nov 2019 1:05pm GMT
    I have to say in this instance I actually agree with the manager, answering emails and being online all the time isn't a bad thing. We've become the instant gratification generation and insisting that managers be on call and online 24/7 isn't fair to them or their families. It would have to be life of death situation outside of work to make me concerned about not having an answer straight a way. I think it's about time we learned to switch off social media and interact with those around us.