Only call employees in their free time in an emergency

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Colleagues, employees or superiors should only be contacted at home in an emergency

In today's world, more and more employers are demanding that their employees be available at all times of the day and night. Senior executives in particular are often held responsible for being available at weekends, for example. Colleagues and superiors, however, should hold back on calls outside of normal working hours, as the etiquette expert Bettina Geißler from Noderstedt emphasized in an interview.

Many calls are unnecessary and can wait until the next working day Geißler reports that "there are many calls that are not necessary". The caller should therefore ask the question “whether the call really has to be”. If there is a fire in the company, a call is of course appropriate. If permanent availability was agreed in the employment contract, employees could also be called. This also applies, for example, to "on-call duty", as is common practice in social institutions, reports pedagogue Sebastian Bertram. But here, too, the times have to be clearly clarified. However, "there are only a few positions where this is really necessary," emphasizes the expert.

The note should also be considered from an economic perspective. If employees cannot switch off mentally and take a sufficient recovery phase, they will eventually respond with symptoms of stress. In the worst case, there is a risk of depression or burnout syndrome. This in turn increases sick leave and provokes higher absenteeism.

Calling colleagues or employees in the morning or evening at leisure should not become the norm. A subtle variant is sending an email or SMS. Then it is left to the other person "whether he perceives the message and reacts to it," says Geißler. Then, however, the sender should be prepared that no answer will come back. If the case is urgent, a call is better. If the case is not urgent, you can save yourself sending an SMS. Then the information or question also has time until the next working day.

Bertram replies that “sending short messages puts the recipient under tension”. If no immediate decisions need to be made, clarifying a matter also has time until the next working day, according to the social worker. (ag)

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