Commentary: COVID-19 could finally break bad habits in out-of-office emails

By Pilita_Clark13 days ago

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LONDON: A couple of Friday afternoons ago, a colleague in London received an out-of-office message from a man saying he was unavailable because he was working winter hours today.

Anyone needing him urgently could call a mobile phone number included in the note, which ended: I will reply to your email on Monday. Have a good weekend.

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My colleague, like me, was nonplussed. What on earth were winter hours? I made inquiries.

It turned out the man worked for a global company which decided that staff who had worked a weeks worth of hours by 1pm Friday, which most had, could take the rest of the day off and enjoy what was left of the winter sunlight.

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