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Out of hours work emails 'damaging family life'

Published 12/08/2016

Lehigh University in Pennsylvania says checking emails outside of work is one of the worst culprits for soaring rates of exhausted workers
Lehigh University in Pennsylvania says checking emails outside of work is one of the worst culprits for soaring rates of exhausted workers

Checking emails outside of work hours has become as common place but new research has concluded doing so is damaging to our lives.

In this day and age it isn’t unheard of to skip lunch in order to carry on working, or put in daily overtime to help manage a heavy work load, all of which are resulting in exhausted workers.

And the latest research from a team at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania says checking emails outside of work is one of the worst culprits for soaring rates of exhausted workers. It also says checking your office mail is leading to damaged family lives.

Looking at a study group of 297 working adults, the team researched “organisational expectation” during hours away from the office.

It was found that checking emails during out of office time led to a diminished work-family balance, and causes stress levels similar to having a high workload.

“Organisational expectations can steal employee resources even when actual time is not required because employees cannot fully separate from work,” authors wrote.

The team, also joined by experts from Virginia Tech and Colorado State University, add that being permanently on call means workers can’t detach themselves from work, leading to exhaustion.

Even if they’re not checking emails, researchers say employees can suffer from “anticipatory stress” from knowing they could be contacted at any time.

The new study comes three months after France banned work emails on the weekend.

Under new labour reforms the European country is helping its residents disconnect from the office over the weekend, when working in companies with 50 or more employees.

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