If you are worried about interrupting someone over the weekend, email can be the ideal way to communicate, since it is less invasive than a phone call!
But, is it unprofessional to send someone an email over the weekend?
About 70% of people in our recent survey don’t think that it is unprofessional to send an email over the weekend. Nevertheless, think briefly if it could be inconvenient for the recipient and do not expect a reply before the next working day.
We asked 105 people in the U.S. if they think it is unprofessional to send a work email on the weekend. Just under a third of the respondents felt this was unprofessional, while 69% of respondents did not see it as a problem.
We live in a time when technology rules. Email is fast and convenient. It offers a record of what was shared and who it was shared with. It also allows the other party to view it when it is convenient for them.
It can be perfect when you need to share information to get tasks completed on your end. It can make Monday mornings more productive too.
Instead of sending out emails then and waiting for replies, yours are already sent and you can start seeing replies back on Monday!
Sending emails over the weekend is a solution when time zones are a challenge. You may need to correspond with someone who is sleeping when you are awake.
Email ensures they aren’t interrupted by your message. Likewise, you won’t be interrupted when they are awake and replying while you are sleeping.
Friends and Family
Most of us don’t give it a second thought to email friends or family members over the weekend! We freely communicate with them any time we feel like it. However, they may not welcome calls or text messages over the weekend.
That could be family time for them, spending with those that can’t see much during the week. Emails can help you stay in contact or share information.
What to Say:
“Just wanted to send you a note to say hi and give you this link to some new photos of the kids.”
“Are you interested in checking out this exhibit at the museum next month? I can go either Saturday it is here, below is the information on it.”
“Official wedding invitations will be going out soon, but please try to save the date! We would love to have you there to help us celebrate!”
“I am trying to plan a camping trip for all of us before summer is over. Do any of the following dates work for your family to join us? If so, which of these locations would you like me to book at?”
“I didn’t have time to prepare Christmas cards this year, so I am sending a short letter and some pictures of our family updates by email! I wish you all a great holiday season and hope to catch up in the New Year!”
A Casual Acquaintance
You may feel nervous reaching out to a casual acquaintance. They may be an instructor or another student in a class you take. It may be someone you met and would like to get to know better or visit with.
Not everyone uses social media networks, and email can be a wonderful way to reach them.
What to Say:
“I am trying to work on our assignment due Wednesday but don’t understand this section. Can you share more details with me, please?”
“Part of our project for this class is a group effort, is there a time that works best for you to discuss our strategy?”
“I enjoyed meeting you last week, and was wondering if you would like to have coffee with me? I know a wonderful place where we can meet!”
“Would you be interested in joining me at the park for a picnic and music? They put on great free shows there. It is a fun way to relax and enjoy the beauty of the park. I am attaching a flyer for the event so you can see all it offers.”
“We are trying to organize a parent group for our children and their school. If you would like to be part of it please come to an information meeting at the date and time below.”
Schedules have to be flexible to get work done. Some people need to work on the weekends to keep the flow going.
Don’t feel shy or unprofessional about sending an email on the weekend if it means you can get some of your own tasks completed.
However, you need to anticipate that many won’t reply until Monday, but you have done your part with it!
More and more people are replying to business emails over the weekend though, and that is encouraging. They are in the habit of checking emails several times per day. They strive to stay on top of their correspondence, so it doesn’t pile up.
More people are working flexible hours nowadays in the work environment.
What to Say:
“Can you please review the attached proposal and submit any requested changes to me by Friday?”
“I have booked a hotel close to the airport and set up transportation to and from our office while you are here. Please see the agenda and confirmations and let me know if you have questions. We look forward to meeting with you soon!”
“I am excited to start working with you regarding this project. I have created an outline for scheduling, so it is completed on time. Your input is welcome.”
“I have an important meeting Monday morning and would like to take this proposal with me. If you have any free time over the weekend, can you review this and tell me what you think?”
Emails to your Opt-in List
It isn’t unprofessional to send an email on the weekend to those on your opt-in list. This can be the ideal time to reach them.
Many consumers are at home and have free time to review offers in their inboxes.
This can be an opportunity to boost your sales for a new product or service. It can be a great time to offer a time-sensitive discount offer to encourage them to buy as soon as they open that email!
What to Say:
“Check out our brand-new products and get free shipping this weekend only!”
“For the next 48 hours save 30%.”
“We are giving away a free bonus with all orders placed today.”
Matt Vargas is an author and public speaking coach with a degree in sociology and more than ten years of practical experience. Matt is responsible for the empirical surveys at everyday-courtesy.com, is a passionate recreational musician, and blogs here about his experiences in the field of interpersonal communication.