BLACKSBURG, Va. - You might think checking your email outside of work makes you a good employee, but it could be damaging your relationships and your mental health.
Researchers at Virginia Tech found that the sheer expectation of monitoring work email led to increased anxiety in both employees and their significant others.
The study found that even the act of simply being available can cause emotional stress.
This can lead to changes in appetite, concentration and focus, and decreased quality of sleep.
"Probably organizations think it's an OK thing because they're getting more productivity out of employees, but they underestimate thee effect. And downstream, by harming employee health and engagement and burnout, they're going to pay a cost for that," said William Becker, associate professor at Virginia Tech.
Romantic partners also said it led to lower relationship satisfaction.
"It’s one of those things that it’s a bigger problem than we think sometimes, which is kind of why I’m looking at the study. Also, the effect on home life and spouses as well,” said Becker. "We actually found that the time that we spend wasn't as big of a problem as the time we spend monitoring and checking emails.”
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