Less is more when it comes to dealing with work emails, especially after hours. It turns out that American workers are dealing with more email than ever.  A recent survey by Reachmail found that 54% of Americans are dealing with more work email after midnight than they did three years ago. They surveyed 1,000 American who use email regularly for work to see just how people deal with email both inside and outside of the workplace. So what could you do and should you aim for inbox zero? See results below and see what works for you.

Here’s what they found:

After hours sending

Only 25% of people say they’ve never sent a work email after 6 pm.  23% of people admit to sending work email after midnight.  They found that men are more likely than women to send emails after 9pm.  As far as a generational breakdown, Gen Xers are most likely to send a work email after midnight and nearly half of millennials have never sent a work email after 9pm.

After hours receiving

59% of people receive emails from their co-workers after work hours.  Surprisingly enough, only 1 in 4 people are bothered by receiving emails from co-workers after work. The survey data found that Millennials get the most after-hours email of any generation. Also to be noted is that as income increases, there’s a slight correlation with people’s tolerance for after-hours emails.  Most people seem to acknowledge that this comes with the territory.

Weekends and days off

The really alarming data came from this part of the survey. They found that 75% of all American’s check their work email on their days off. Vacation time is also impacted with 61% of people refusing to unplug from their work email, even while on vacation. Women were more likely to ignore email on vacation compared to men.

Does after-hours emails make you feel important?

As part of the survey they asked people if getting work email and responding promptly made people feel more important within their role at work.  The results were pretty split with 57% saying no and 43% saying yes.  One thing to note is that younger people were much more likely to feel important receiving work email than their older counterparts.

Changes in email habits

The survey data found that 1 in 5 people have tried to change their email habits in the last 12 months in order to try and spend less time during the day dealing with email. The goal for many of these people was to try and keep the number of emails in their inbox at zero as often as possible. This is called “ inbox zero ”.  To achieve this, when a new email comes in, always take some action to advance the email out of your inbox, hence the common term Inbox Zero.

To see the full survey results, check out the infographic below from Reachmail.

work email inbox zero work email after midnight