While technology makes it easy for us to check our emails outside of work, constantly being plugged in eventually takes its toll on our personal life, raising anxiety and stress levels, according to a recent study.
‘You’ve Got Mail’, carried out by a group of psychologists at the London-based research lab Future Work Centre, focuses on the habits people have developed with their work email.
“Checking your email very early in the morning, or checking it late at night, or leaving your email on all day, has a much stronger relationship with email pressure. So it’s not necessarily about how many emails we receive, but when and how we access the email itself,” said Dr. Richard MacKinnon, who led the research.
Many people questioned said they feel obliged to respond to work emails, even out of hours.
According the mental health charity Mind email has offered more people the opportunity to work from home which can be advantage for family life. But its own research concurs with the report from the Future Work Centre.
“What we found is that work-life balance is increasingly blurred because of technology, so we know that people feel that they need to be checking their emails outside of work hours, core work hours, or when they’re not in the workplace itself,” said Madeleine McGivern, head of Workplace Wellbeing Programmes at Mind. “At the same time we’ve also had an increasing trend of employers approaching us to say we recognise that this is an issue with our workforce and we want to do something.”
Advice offered includes avoiding checking your emails early in the morning or late at night, prioritising your work before letting others do so and occasionally turning off your email apps throughout the day.