4 October 2019
Do you ever switch off from work?

Should you check your work emails at home or even on vacation? This has been an ongoing debate and countless investigations into how this can affect individuals.

In our ever-connected world it is hard not to take your work home with you. If you have your emails set up on your phone, then there may be occasions when you tap the app. Research and opinion states that it is bad for your health. The number of hours added up that people spend doing work related tasks outside of the office, can mount up to a whole day’s labour per week. We know that we shouldn’t be doing it, but it can be hard to stop.

Employees are feeling under pressure to ‘give all they’ve got’ to a job to ensure their efforts and achievements are noticed as well as secure a promotion. But where is the fine line of being loyal and committed to running yourself into the ground? It could be affecting you more than you think.

Alison Cardy, career coach explains, “This depends on your industry and the level of boundaries and goodwill that you’ve established. Some types of work do require responsiveness. Many others appear to need 24/7 access to you, but are not built around urgent replies. In the latter case, it’s up to the individual to establish clear expectations on how quickly they will respond, if at all, to requests outside of working hours. Respect for these boundaries goes hand in hand with doing an excellent job while at work.”

While checking a work email in the evening may truly have a valid justification from time to time, checking work email outside of work has become far more of a habit than we realise.

If you are an employer, while you may think that having your employees respond to emails after work and on the weekends, is a good way to increase productivity, encouraging them to do so actually hurts their job performance. There is an abundance of research readily available that suggests how bad it can be if people are to fall into this habit. Speak to your employees and offer support when it comes to their workload and managing stress levels.

If you are in a job that requires you to be ‘online’ out of hours, then we advise you to put strict schedules in place and allocate some much needed ‘you’ time. You may think you are doing a great job, but you may not know the side effects it can have on your overall performance day to day.


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