For the average person, a typical Friday can go in one of two ways:
1) a busy Friday, where you’re rushing to get everything done before the end of the day so you don’t have to work over the weekend, or 2) a relaxed Friday, where you’re able to get your work done quickly, skip out of the office on the early side, and start your weekend. Friday is also the day most people choose for vacation days, and some lucky people have half-days during the summer, or even year-round. Considering these facts, let’s talk about what types of emails are appropriate to send on a Friday and what types are downright annoying.
If someone is in the office on a Friday, assume they are going to spend a chunk of it wrapping up their work for the week and focusing on meeting end-of-week deadlines. When it comes to email, internal communications and memos about specific projects or Monday meetings are fair game at this time. But when unanticipated requests come in on a Friday afternoon, interfering with plans to get through the final items on the to-do list that week, the recipient is, understandably, going to be irritated.
Friday is not a good day to start new business. You should never send requests for informational interviews or email introductions, pitch new projects, or ask for any type of favor so late in the week. Often, you might feel tempted to send these types of emails at the end of the week, since you’ve spent four days working on more time-sensitive projects, and Friday is the only day you’ve had time to come up for air. But think about the person on the other end of the line -- they might be feeling the same way.
No, someone isn’t going to completely write you off for sending an email on a Friday, but they might subconsciously lower their opinion of you -- or mark your email to be read later, only for it to get buried in the stream of Deadline alerts that pile up over the weekend. If the only day you have time for outreach is a Friday, simply type up your email, save it in the drafts folder, and send it out on Monday or Tuesday, when it will actually be read with sympathetic eyes. You’ll still feel like you’ve accomplished something, and, even though they may not realize it, you’ll have done the other person a favor.
--Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan