Kiwi bosses are being warned to stop and hit save rather than send those late-night work emails and messages.

Smartphone technology has taken the work computer bedside and out-of-hours communication is an increasing issue.

This week a senior manager at Fullers360 sent a lengthy group message to workers throughout the ferry and tourism business.

It landed with an angry chirp at inboxes around the company at 3.10am.


And that ill-timed message was not the only one.

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Employment experts say the problem is widespread and not confined to email with plenty of early morning avenues into people's homes by way of apps such as Slack, FB messenger and Whatsapp.

Bosses might argue they do not expect late-night messages to be read or responded to immediately.

But employment and wellness experts disagree.

Human resources expert Jonathan Rice from Joyn Recruitment said bosses had a 'duty of care' to staff and that included giving them time to switch off from work.

"Because of smartphone technology staff are always plugged in so sending emails in the middle of the night and not expecting people to read them is not good enough," he said.

"It's a very relevant issue at the moment because people are worried about job security and are particularly vulnerable."

People might lose sleep because of an after-hour request or they might go as far as responding immediately to look productive, he said.


Rice was aware of technology used overseas that switched off emails after hours to safeguard staff from overzealous bosses.

"Of course there are other ways to get a message through if you are intent on doing it but the after-hour email ban sets the culture.

"If you need to get something off your chest my advice is to write it, save it to drafts and re-read it in the morning and then send."

The problem is not unique to New Zealand.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was widely criticised last year when he sent an email at 1.20am which announced future job cuts.

In France, the blurred lines between work and home saw the passing of the "Right to Disconnect" law.


This established boundaries for the use of electronic communication after work hours and to gave employees a legal right to not engage in any work-related activities at home.

Wellness coach Leanne Ashton said New Zealand employers needed to respect the personal boundaries of staff.

"Sleep is precious and if you interrupt that you can not expect staff to turn up the next day and perform well.

"People are really concerned about job-loss at the moment so are more likely to read and respond to out-of-hours messages.

"It is not healthy."

Before you hit send ask yourself:


* Is the message urgent and does it require an immediate response? No? Don't send.

* Will the outcome of the email or message be different than if you wait and send at 9am?
No? Don't send.

* Do you have the mental capacity to put forward a fair and logical argument/instructions after dark?
No? Don't send.

* Will your employees/workplace culture benefit from an early morning wake-up alert? No? Don't send.