I realized that there are multiple reasons for why I would want to retain access to my work email correspondence:
- In case I'd get laid off, or leaving on less than good terms. Having access to email conversations would be quite important to prove what I have/haven't done/said. Unfortunately it's also impossible to foresee which conversation, among all, might be important for this purpose.
- Some bureaucratic documentation (e.g. salary slips, which documents the amount of taxes that was already paid on my behalf) might not have been sent in paper form, and would only be available in my work email.
- Contacts of other (previous?) employees: it's possible that I might want to contact them again in the future, but without access to the details, that could prove quite difficult.
I'm currently leaving my current job, and luckily I don't see #1 as an actual reason to worry in this case. But when things go south, it might happen quite suddenly, and I'd have to yield access to any work device in the same day.
Also, companies might have quite different practices: at a previous one, having any kind of work stuff on personal device was a definite no-no. But at my current one, it's basically expected that we would have access to email, group chat and other stuff on our personal phones (they don't provide a work phone).
So, at the moment I already have access to work email on a personal device, but what I'm thinking is archiving it (i.e. downloading it with POP, rather than syncing with IMAP). To be able to leave a job on the same day with short notice, I wouldn't be able to filter/select/copy the emails in a different way.
But even when I have a few weeks available, (given also how busy work has been lately) I definitely don't have time to sift through months/years of correspondence, to only look for and retain the interesting bits.
For this reason I was thinking that I should probably start to set up POP archiving my work email, and update the archive every 1 or 2 weeks.
Do you think it's completely unusual? How do people usually handle the same concerns?
I'm interested about answers both regarding your personal experience, how ethical you think this would be, and also if we should be aware of caveats concerning how this might be seen in different countries around the world (I'm working in the UK) since laws are also obviously different.