Checking work email during non-working hours can be harmful for health

The insidious impact of 'always on' organizational culture is often unaccounted for or disguised as a benefit

Just the expectations of availability increase strain for employees and others. Becker said policies that reduce expectations to monitor electronic communication outside of work would be ideal.

"Employer expectations during nonwork hours appear to increase this burden, as employees feel an obligation to shift roles throughout their nonwork time".

For individuals, mindfulness training has been shown to be an effective approach to reducing anxiety and work-related negative affect and could possibly help with the long-term health and relationship satisfaction effects of electronic communication demands on employees and their partners, the study reports. Previous studies have shown the stress of increased job demands leads to strain and conflict in family relationships.

He advises employees to stay at work a little later to get things done and, if they must, only check work emails one time outside the office - but not before going to bed.

Becker said that the surreptitious collision of "always on" organizational culture is often misplaced for or concealed as an interest, for example escalated comfort for example or excessive autonomy and managing the work life demarcations. "Mindfulness is a practice within the control of the employee even if email expectations are not (i.e., those are enforced by their organization or their manager)", Belkin said.

The research will be presented at the Academy of Management annual meeting, held August 10-14, 2018, in Chicago, Ill. and is published in the Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings. The solution may also include establishing boundaries or time limits on when electronic communication is acceptable during off-hours by setting up off-hour email schedules when a person is available to respond.

Both partners also reported negative health impacts from the increased anxiety, which may be explained by the well-established relationship between chronic stress and poor physical and mental health outcomes.

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Additionally, he said, organizational expectations should be communicated clearly.

According to research by professor William Becker, even though you think checking your out-of-hours email makes you a good employee, it's doing serious damage.

Dr Becker said: "If the nature of a job requires email availability, such expectations should be stated formally as a part of job responsibilities".

"Employees today must navigate more complex boundaries between work and family than ever before", said Becker.

For employees, he hopes the study highlights the importance of refraining from skimming through work emails after hours.

Another study of 57,000 people found that more than half worked outside their normal hours. The promises of "flexible work boundaries" have turned into work without boundaries" and thanks to the array of devices that promise us to bring "closer', we fold our laptops and carry our work home every day, long after the office-hours.

The scientists called for far stricter rules to stop work invading people's home life.

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