Learning English through Workplace Communication
You are the boss of Reboot Online Company and you have recently received complaints from some staff about the number of work-related emails and text messages received out of office.
Write a letter to staff addressing their complaints.
Dear fellow staff,
I am writing in response to the complaints lodged by some staff about the number of work-related emails and text messages received out of office. After looking into the matter, I would like to address the problem as follows.
It is a general practice that staff ought not to take on further workload when they are out of office. “Out of office” refers to two conditions. First, you are physically not in the office outside office hours. Second, you are on annual leave or sick leave during office hours. Under these two circumstances, you are not supposed to carry out any job duties. If you are receiving job instructions out of office, that means you are working overtime. As a general policy, overtime work should be limited to urgent work, heavy workloads or emergencies only so that staff can maintain work-life balance and a healthy life.
However, the recent situation has changed. In view of business expansion in the emerging markets, the demand for our technology service has grown a great deal. Clients become more demanding and the business environment in these markets is very competitive and challenging. As a result, we are expected to deliver our service much faster than usual. Therefore, you are receiving work-related emails and messages delegated by your supervisors when you are out of office.
It is understandable that too much overtime work will pose a threat to staff’s health and lower their productivity. To prevent our staff from being overloaded, there will be a special arrangement for out-of-office job instructions. First, supervisors should decide whether the tasks are really urgent before delegating to their subordinates. Second, staff whose grade is below supervisory level can communicate to their seniors whether they still have capacity for the assigned work. Third, an overtime timesheet system will be brought in to keep the overtime that staff spends on their tasks or job duties each day. If staff keeps working overtime for an unreasonable amount of time, they should report to their seniors with their timesheets. For example, if a staff member is sick and gets off work on time, he should report to his supervisors that he is unable to do any more tasks out of office. Or, if a staff member is already very busy with his current tasks, he should report to his supervisors that he does not have any further capacity for any duties out of office. It is hoped that close communication between seniors and subordinates can help staff make a balance between work and life.
It is always our company’s principle that our staff and employees are the most valuable asset and that they can achieve a healthy work-life balance. Frequent and excessive overtime work out of office at the expense of employees’ health should not be allowed. The new measures should alleviate the worst condition.
As the business environment continues to be challenging, I sincerely hope that we can work things out together and endure hard times hand in hand.