I didn’t respond to my boss’s emails for a week (and I didn’t get fired!)

The workplace can be an interesting mix of personalities where communication is vital. Some prefer a quieter atmosphere, while others enjoy being a socialite. Regardless of your personal preference, there is someone that you always have to communicate with—your boss.

Typically we do our best to handle requests from the boss before tackling projects from other co-workers. If there is a task that needs to be done, we jump right to it. If they call? We answer.

The one method of communication that does not always prompt an immediate response is email. We could easily miss a message or two if we are in the middle of another project. If they are not marked urgent, we may move on to another task to respond later in the day.

This prompted the question — what would happen if I decided to ignore a few emails

I decided to spend an entire week, ignoring the emails from my boss, and the results were interesting. Fortunately, I wasn’t fired, but here is what happened…

Ignore Emails, Not Requests

First off, it is essential to remain productive at work, even if you aren’t responding to emails.

I made sure to check every email that I received from my boss to ensure that I was completing the necessary tasks and keeping up with my responsibilities. 

This was an experiment, not an attempt to lose my job!

The First Few Emails

In the beginning, the emails that I received did not contain urgent content. The requests would range from sending work orders to making client calls.

At this point, I felt that it was simple enough to complete the tasks without responding to the requests. I did everything in a timely fashion and began wondering if I might get away with my obvious silence. 

Things appeared to be going smoothly until the “Did you get my last email?” messages began to roll in.

Things Began to Get Complicated

It may have been easy to ignore the responses to the initial task requests, but ignoring the second round of emails proved to be more difficult.

I was anxious as I started to ignore the emails. I was going to get in trouble, wasn’t I? But then I figured out a solution. While I couldn’t respond to the emails, I could still inform my boss about the completed work in person! 

To avoid being fired, I walked over to their office and informed them of everything I had completed. My boss appeared puzzled, but they thanked me for letting them know that I had completed my work. 

The Reporting Game

Over the week, I continued this pattern, and I could tell my boss was confused by my new behavior. But they didn’t bring it up until my seventh trip to their office to report that a package had been sent. That was when they motioned for me to have a seat. 

I knew what was coming. 

While my boss expressed appreciation for my dedication to informing them of my accomplishments in person, they asked why I wasn’t responding to their emails. 

“I enjoy getting up from my desk once in a while to stretch my legs. This was the perfect opportunity.” That was a good enough answer for them! 

The only downside was that I realized I had dedicated myself to extra cardio throughout the day to sustain my charade.

What Happened Next?

I felt a massive sense of relief once my strange experiment came to an end! Ignoring emails from your boss might not be the most intelligent decision if you want to keep your job. If I had not come up with an alternate form of communication, I do not doubt that I would have been called into the office for my lack of response. This was not a risk I was willing to take!

I would highly suggest keeping up with your boss’ preferred form of communication. If they would like you to answer emails, then send the email!  No questions were asked.

One unexpected result of my experiment is that we are now required to get up and stretch our legs once an hour. It looks like my alternate response to emails resulted in extra breaks for the office, which is a win in my book! 

Overall, communication at work is always going to be essential and proper contact with a boss is an absolute necessity.