Please create an account
or Log in to subscribe


or


Subscribe to our RSS feeds Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Subscribe to our RSS feeds Watch us on Youtube View us on Instagram

Why weekend email monitoring is bad for your family’s wellbeing

Why weekend email monitoring is bad for your family’s wellbeing

Why weekend email monitoring is bad for your family’s wellbeing

Employer expectations of work email monitoring during non-work hours are detrimental to the health and wellbeing of not only employees but their family members as well.

William Becker, a Virginia Tech associate professor of management in the Pamplin College of Business, has co-authored a new study, “Killing me softly: electronic communications monitoring and employee and significant-other well-being,” showing that such expectations result in anxiety, which adversely affects the health of employees and their families.

“The competing demands of work and non-work lives present a dilemma for employees,” Becker says, “which triggers feelings of anxiety and endangers work and personal lives.”

Other studies have shown that the stress of increased job demands leads to strain and conflict in family relationships when the employee is unable to fulfill non-work roles at home, “such as when someone brings work home to finish up.”

Their new study, he says, demonstrates that employees do not need to spend actual time on work in their off-hours to experience the harmful effects. The mere expectations of availability increase strain for employees and their significant others – even when employees do not engage in actual work during non-work time.

Unlike work-related demands that deplete employee resources, physical and psychological, by requiring time away from home, “the insidious impact of ‘always on’ organizational culture is often unaccounted for or disguised as a benefit – increased convenience, for example, or higher autonomy and control over work-life boundaries,” Becker says.

“Our research exposes the reality: ‘flexible work boundaries’ often turn into ‘work without boundaries,’ compromising an employee’s and their family’s health and well-being.”

As negative health outcomes are costly to them, what can employers do to mitigate the adverse effects identified by the study? Becker said policies that reduce expectations to monitor electronic communication outside of work would be ideal.

When that is not an option, the solution may be to establish boundaries on when electronic communication is acceptable during off-hours by setting up off-hour email windows or schedules when employees are available to respond.

As for employees, they could consider practicing mindfulness, which has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety, Becker says. Mindfulness may help employees “be present” in family interactions, which could help reduce conflict and improve relationship satisfaction. And, he added, mindfulness is within the employee’s control when email expectations are not.

“Employees today must navigate more complex boundaries between work and family than ever before,” says Becker. “Employer expectations during non-work hours appear to increase this burden, as employees feel an obligation to shift roles throughout their non-work time.

“Efforts to manage these expectations are more important than ever, given our findings that employees’ families are also affected by these expectations.”

Share on Facebook Pin on Pinterest Share by Email

Post a Comment

© MiNDFOOD 2018. All Rights Reserved

Web Design Sydney

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!