Ignoring Your Work Emails Makes You a Stronger Leader
If you’re new to a company and want to figure out if you have a good boss or not, send them an email after they leave for the day and wait. According to a new study, if they respond before returning to the office the next morning, they might suck.
It’s not the first time researchers have told us to work smarter, not harder, but now they’re looking at how company leaders model healthier work habits by not responding to emails on the toilet after midnight.
These particular researchers surveyed managers and their employees across American businesses from 2019 to 2022 about their work habits after hours, as well as their performance during work hours. The responses revealed that bosses who knew how to unplug were more energized and motivating during work hours, whereas the tendency to bring work home was seen as a rookie move.
To be fair, striking a healthy work-life balance is hard for anyone rising, grinding or just resentfully bringing home a paycheck, but it can be particularly difficult for bosses. “Leaders have challenging jobs as they juggle their own role responsibilities with the needs of their followers, and they need to recover from the demands of the leadership role,” Klodiana Lanaj, lead author of the study, explained in a press release.
“This is particularly important for inexperienced leaders, as they seem to benefit the most from recovery experiences when at home,” Lanaj continued. “The simple message of this study is that if you want to be an effective leader at work, leave work at work.”
Maybe those “World’s Greatest Boss” mugs ought to be changed to “World’s Most Unplugged Boss.”