Remote working has led to a blurring of the rigid office hours of yesteryear and revived debate over sending emails outside of the traditional nine to five. This debate, however, should be redundant: all major email platforms allow you to schedule emails to arrive at a later point than when you click 'send'. Nonetheless, I'm always surprised by how few people seem to know about the Schedule Send feature, and that even fewer people seem to use it.
All major email platforms allow you to schedule emails to arrive at a later point than when you click 'send'.
The benefits of Schedule Send go beyond just not harassing your colleagues at unsociable hours. If you're the sort of person who likes to respond to trivial, low priority emails immediately, but doesn't want to invite a distracting email back-and-forth, schedule it to arrive an hour or two after you draft it. Do you like to embrace flexible work hours and occasionally find yourself working disconcertingly late into the night? Don't alarm your coworkers with your weird night owl tendencies, but instead deceive them into thinking you're an enterprising go-getter by scheduling your emails for 07:08.
Schedule Send isn't a panacea and is best avoided on multi-person threads where there's a chance the chain could progress between the time you write your response and the time it's scheduled to arrive. It also does nothing to control when other people will send emails to your inbox. But it is a powerful tool that enables respectful email etiquette towards your colleagues. By not bombarding them with unimportant emails in their personal time, you're more likely to have their support on those rare occasions when something really does need urgent attention.