Why You SHOULDN'T Check Emails Outside Of Work: Being Constantly 'Switched On' Causes Burnout And Wrecks Family Life, Study Warns
- 24/7 access to email puts pressure on employees to remain in work mode
- Leading to a diminished work-family balance as people can't 'switch off'
- Study found stress was comparable to a high workload or work conflict
- France passed a labour reform law banning checking emails on weekend
Demanding bosses who expect employees to check their emails outside of work are causing exhaustion and damaging family life, a study has found.
Soaring numbers of workers are complaining of burnout because they are unable to disconnect from the stress of the office.
Rather than resenting the additional time it takes up, researchers say workers feeling they must stay alert is causing the stress.
It means rather than spending time unwinding once out of the office, people feel the need to be 'switched on' hours after they have officially clocked off.
Checking emails from home is leaving soaring numbers of workers suffering from stress and burn out as well as getting in the way of quality family time, a study has found
Earlier this year, France passed a labour reform law that banned checking emails on weekends.
The new research suggests other countries might do well to follow suit, for the sake of employee health and productivity.
Using data collected from 297 working adults, researchers looked at the role of organisational expectation regarding 'off' hour emailing.
It led to a diminished work-family balance which is essential for a person's health and well-being, they said.
The joint study by researchers at Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, Virginia Tech and Colorado State University claims to be the first to identify email-related expectations as a stress in itself.
The stress of having to be constantly 'switched on' is comparable to high workload, conflict at work and time pressure, a study found
Professor Liuba Belkin and her colleagues found levels comparable to having a high workload, being in conflict at work, environment or time pressure.
Previous studies have shown employees must be able to detach both mentally and physically from work to recover ready for the next day.
But with nearly everyone having 24/7 access to email and internet, the technologies designed to help employees are actually doing more harm than good, the results suggest.
'Its accessibility contributes to experience of work overload since it allows employees to engage in work as if they never left the workspace, and at the same time, inhibits their ability to psychologically detach from work-related issues via continuous connectivity,' the authors wrote.
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