Checking Email After Work Damages Your Family & Well-Being, Researchers Warn

woman working child sleep next to her

There's nothing worse than getting home from work at the end of the day, settling in with your family and then hearing the "ping" of your phone go off alerting you have just received a new email. This scenario is even more disheartening if you have a boss who actually expects you to take even more time away from your family or your everything routine, after work hours, to respond. A new study is calling out the constant pressures of checking work email after hours and is even going as far as to explain that checking emails after work can have a negative impact on your health.

Work-life balance is everything. We all know this. It's crucial to find a common ground and a balance that works for everyone so that your mental health is in check. After all, we work to live not the other way around. Some of us though, have bosses with high expectations and act as if our evening time doesn't really belong to us.

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First of all, we all know how difficult technology makes it for us to tune out all the work stuff when it's right there, happening at our fingertips. But we need to find a way.

Researchers at Virginia Tech analyzed the habits of 142 full-time workers and their significant others and discovered scary trends. Their finding concluded that employees who have bosses that expect them to be available at all times still feel the same harmful effects that are experienced if they were physically bringing home with them every night, because essentially - they are.

woman working home child
Credit: iStock / DGLimages

Having to be constantly available increases anxiety in both employees and with their family members. Basically, this means that even if you don’t answer these emails or catch up on any work at home — but your boss is expecting it — both your health and your family’s health takes a toll.

All of these findings boil down to an "always on" culture that our society has harmfully created in the workplace where we all feel the need to constantly be working.

William Becker, associate professor of management in the Pamplin College of Business and co-author of the study says that “Flexible work boundaries’ often turn into ‘work without boundaries,’ compromising an employee’s and their family’s health and well-being.”

The authors of the study believe that it's the employers who need to be conscious of the issue and fix the problem. Their suggestions are heavily set on them creating guidelines for them employees should be expected to answer emails and when they are not to help further promote a work-life balance that is healthier for everyone.

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