A recent study on modern worker behaviour looked at the role that checking emails after-hours had on the mental state of the individual. While past research had suggested that this activity could lead to a negative work-life balance, there was no hint as to why. Thus, the study aimed at delving into this problem deeper in order to find out more.
A Matter of Perception
While one might expect that negative emails have a detrimental effect on the reader, what surprised the researchers was that the perceived tone also came into play. If an individual is simply annoyed or frustrated by receiving or reading the email, it can create further negative emotions which damage their work-life balance.
These initial feelings can stem from various causes. For instance, a person could feel that after-hours emails are intrusive into their personal time. They can also feel obligated to reply even though they’re not at work. Thus, regardless of the content of the actual email, the act of receiving it may result in negative thoughts.
Length and Frustration
The study also found that the longer the email took to respond to, the more annoyed the individual was. Ultimately, this is because these messages are deemed intrusive and so foster greater feelings of anger the more time they take out of a person’s private time.
Putting up Boundaries
Thus, it’s recommended that staff members think about their preferences and establish some strict boundaries when it comes to checking after-hours emails. If your customers demand a quick response, a message taking service can be helpful. Otherwise, you can simply leave that email until 9am when you get to work. In this way, you can maintain your work-life balance and free up your personal time without causing any added negative feelings towards the job that you have.