There are several types of working days. The half-shift or full shift, the morning and night, among several other modalities. One of them involves being attentive 24 hours a day on the phone. This total hourly availability to comply with work obligations or simply reviewing the email even if it is not a prescribed obligation can cause great fatigue and really affect your physical and emotional health. Learn more about the reasons for this health detriment below.
A Real Stress Trigger
In recent decades, the consequences of labor conflicts and overwork have been studied in depth. However, the health impact of reviewing the email after working hours had not yet been carefully studied.
As researchers at Colorado, Leigh and Virginia Tech universities recently demonstrated that this action can act as a stress trigger. What’s more, the scientists found that companies do not even have to formally ask employees to do this to produce this effect, but the company’s culture somehow motivates them to do so indirectly.
The necessary distance
Checking the email then becomes an impediment so that the person can recover from the day. Employees should find ways to distance themselves both physically and emotionally from employment so they can recover from hours worked and not fall into extreme fatigue and high levels of stress.
It is clear then that to review the email after the end of the working day would not be of great help since it contributes to generating the sensation that “we have never left the office”.
The fear of not being able to fulfill
The authors of the study also found that the amount of time and energy invested in reviewing the mail was not what significantly altered stress levels but what is termed “anticipatory stress” (the anxiety of having to meet future obligations).
Data to be taken into account
The researchers say that companies should take these findings into account. In its view, the culture of being “always available and connected” can in principle increase productivity, but in the medium and long term it actually diminishes it and causes truly negative effects on employees.
Perhaps many companies still can not afford to avoid requiring their employees to check the email outside of business hours, but perhaps they could think of healthier alternatives such as “days without email” or total availability schedules that are rotating between the employees. It is also crucial that bosses do not pressure their employees in this regard and that they see that their superiors are really interested in achieving a balance and in maintaining the physical and emotional well-being of those who work for them.