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late-night work email

“Your Late-Night Emails Are Hurting Your Team” was one of’s most-read articles of 2015.

Apparently, late-night work emails are a problem for a lot of people.

My article “Your Late-Night Emails Are Hurting Your Team” landed on’s list of “Your Favorite HBR Articles of 2015.”

I argued in this story that “after-hours emails speed up corporate cultures — and that, in turn, chips away at creativity, innovation, and true productivity.”

Since the article first published in March 2015, commenters had things like this to say:

I love this. We’ve recently had a bunch of discussion about email in general, not just after hours and on weekends, and we’ve all come to the conclusion that email is getting in the way of productivity.

Fantastic piece. I have worked for (and with) a number of people who think that it is required to reply to emails during the night, over weekends, and while on holiday. This made me stressed, nervous, and unproductive.

The conversation about work email kept going with my follow-up HBR article, “Fixing Our Unhealthy Obsession With Work Email,” and when HBR adapted that article into a management tip of the day called “Stop Checking Your Work Email at Night.” I also talked about the problem of late-night work email in other media appearances, including this interview with WNYC.

Be sure to check out the other articles in HBR’s most-read roundup as well. I agree with Katherine Bell, the editor of, that this list “reveals a lot about what managers around the world are thinking and worrying about right now. A lot of us are feeling trapped in a work culture that’s unhealthy and unproductive. We’re working too many hours. We’re distracted.”

In my upcoming book Work Without Walls: An Executive’s Guide to Attention Management in the Age of Distraction, I’ll go into more depth on how to fix that distracted, unproductive work culture. I also offer training about how to create an intentional office environment and culture that supports productivity and attention. Get in touch if training on these topics sounds like a good fit for your leadership team: info(at)regainyourtime(dot)com or 424-226-2872.