(c) 2019 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Reading Work e-mail After Hours Causally Linked to Employee Stress

A workers’ health is adversely impacted by the employer’s expectation that and the employee will read work-related e-mail after hours. A new study finds that an employee’s mental stress is adversely affected by such expectations.

The recent study by Virginia Tech found that “employer expectations of working email monitoring during non-work hours are detrimental to the health and well-being of not only the employees but their family members as well.”

The demands created by having work and non-work lives presents of a dilemma for employees and triggers a feeling of anxiety that adversely affects health.

“William Becker, a Virginia Tech associate professor of management in the Pamplin College of Business, 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 nonwork lives present a dilemma for employees,’ Becker said, ‘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 nonwork roles at home -- ‘such as when someone brings work home to finish up.’”

“Their new study, he said, 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 nonwork time.”

Click here to read more, Mere expectation of checking work email after hours harms health of workers and families.

Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters).
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