Have you ever had your boss text you after working hours and you immediately feel stressed out just by seeing their name on your phone? Well, you’re not the only one! In fact, studies have shown that switching off your phone can help to reduce stress after working hours, which is what we all need to be able to cope with this fast-paced digital world.
New US research has found that messages and emails about work after you’ve clocked off for the day can increase levels of negative thinking and stress.
Carried out by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the new study recruited 546 full-time public elementary school teachers to measure how work could intrude in their after-work hours via technologies such as smartphones and emails.
The researchers surveyed the participants about whether they were contacted about work-related issues in non-work hours, and whether they were expected to respond to these work-related messages and emails straight away. They were also asked to complete a weekly diary for five consecutive weeks.
The findings, published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, showed that the participants who set boundaries between their work and personal lives, such as turning off work email alerts on their smartphones, perceived their work to intrude less on their non-work time.
The participants who had this greater “boundary control” were also less likely to negatively ruminate — which is repeated negative thinking which has been linked to health problems such as depression — whereas those who experienced a high work intrusion showed significantly more weekly strain including negative rumination, negative emotions and insomnia.
“Most people simply can’t work without a smartphone, tablet or laptop computer,” said researcher YoungAh Park.
“These technologies are so ubiquitous and convenient that it can lead some people to think that employees have to be always on or always available. Clearly, this kind of after-hours intrusion into the home or personal life domain is unhealthy, and our research shows that an always-on mentality has a big downside in the form of increased job stress.”
Having a boss who supports a work-life balance was also found to help reduce work stress and strain.
“Our study suggests that school principals can play a positive role in that their support for work-life balance was associated with the teachers’ greater sense of boundary control. When you have supportive leaders who model behaviors for work-life balance and work effectively with employees to creatively solve work-life conflicts, that translates into less stress for teachers through boundary control,” said Park.
Although the study only looked at school teachers, the researchers say that the findings probably apply to most workers, especially now that more of us are working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Teachers have set schedules in a physical building, along with discrete blocks of free time over the weekends. But even with this working population, we found that after-hours work intrusion via technology can be really stressful for them. So although this finding is particular to teachers, a class of employees who we tend to assume have clear work-life boundaries, it’s now an issue for everyone who is electronically tethered to their work after regular hours,” said Park.
Source: AFP Relaxnews
KLIA & Langkawi International Airport Named Among World’s Best Airports; Netizens Disagree
KL International Airport (KLIA) and the Langkawi International Airport (LGK) have been listed among the world’s best airports for Q2...
Crackhouse Comedy Club License Cancelled, Owner Blacklisted From Registering Businesses In KL For Life
The owner of the Crackhouse Comedy Club has officially been blacklisted for life, from registering a business license at any...
Calling All Stalkers Out There, Politician Confirms Repeated Online Stalking Is A Crime
Most of us may be “guilty” of online stalking, be it watching our crush or anyone we’re keen to know...
WATCH: Whale Shark Caught In Fishing Net In Sarawak Released by Researchers
Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) are the largest type of shark, and indeed the largest of any fishes alive today. They...
JUST IN: Founding Chairman Of DAP Dr. Chen Man Han Has Passed Away At Age 97
Just recently according to See Hua News, it was reported that the founding chairman of DAP, Dr. Chen Man Han,...
“I’m disappointed” – Court Rejects Najib’s Application To Produce New Evidence For SRC Case
Datuk Seri Najib’ Razak’s case involving SRC International Sdn Bhd continues but this time, the odds may not be in...
“I want us to think of this gov’t as a family” – PM Tells Public Servants To Defend Gov’t Against Fake News
Following the spread of accusations and fake news over the past few months, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob...
M’sian Mother Reports Her Son’s Abuse After Seeing Heartbreaking Video Of Nanny Hitting Him
One of the many difficult things about being a working parent is figuring out how to take care of the...
Relationships21 hours ago
Woman Resigns From Job After Finding Out Only 1 Out Of 70 Colleagues She Invited Attended Her Wedding
Social Stories22 hours ago
Changi Airport Is Hiring & Offering A Monthly Salary Up To RM10,000 – Netizens Are Amused
Social Stories21 hours ago
Netizens Bash MUDA Co-Founder For His New Position As A Mentor In The Razak Leadership Program
People19 hours ago
M’sian Woman Works 14-16 Hour Shifts To Fulfill Her Dream Of Motorcycle Racing