Will you check your emails over Christmas? The out-of-hours practice that could cost you your health

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Employees who respond to digital work communications overtime are more likely to suffer from burnout, psychological distress, and illness. Credits: Unsplash’s Joshua Mayo

When the holiday season begins, can you relax or let your work sneak into your breaks? According to a study by the University of South Australia, if you fall into the latter category and are unable to continue working, you may be at risk of your health.

After investigating more than 2,200 scholars and professional staff at 40 Australian universities, researchers found that employees who responded to digital work communications overtime were more likely to suffer from burnout. Psychological distress, And a poor body health..

Researchers discovered it in 2021:

  • Twenty-six percent felt they needed to respond to work-related texts, phone calls, and emails from their bosses during their leisure time.
  • Fifty-seven percent of employees say they sent work-related digital communications to other colleagues in the evening.
  • Fifty percent reported that they often receive work-related texts, phone calls, and emails from colleagues over the weekend.
  • 36% reported that immediate digital response is the norm within the organization communication..

Dr. Amy Zadow, a UniSA researcher, says the expectation that employees will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is putting pressure on Australian workers.

“Since COVID-19, the digitization of work has really skyrocketed, blurring the boundaries of work and paving the way for people to be in touch at all times,” says Dr. Zado.

“But being able to work day and night limits people’s chances of recovery, which means they can exercise and catch up with friends and family. Recovery period You can start burning out.

“Our research shows that high levels of digital communication at overtime work can have a significant impact on physical and mental health, affect work-family relationships and cause mental distress. , May impair your physical health.

“On the contrary, workers who hold down the boundaries of their work have less stress and pressure.”

According to the survey, those who were expected to respond to overtime communication from colleagues over the weekend reported higher levels of psychological distress (56% compared to 42%). Emotional malaise (61% vs. 42%); poor health (28% vs. 10%).

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Almost one in two Australians will experience mental health at some point in their lives.

UniSA professor Kurt Lushington says dealing with work-related stress is becoming increasingly important.

“Managing overtime communication can be difficult, but organizations have the power to discourage“ work sneaking ”,” says Professor Lushington.

“Setting policies, practices, and procedures to protect psychosocial health by developing a strong psychosocial safety environment may limit the damage to digital communications overtime. On a broader scale, this is already being considered in various corporate negotiation agreements. National Employment Standards.

“The starting point is to measure work demand so that organizations can mitigate risk first. Doing this allows you to develop protective actions that can prevent the development or continuation of harmful workplace norms.

“At the end of work, everyone needs to have the right to disconnect.”


Would you like to reply to emails during non-working hours? Do you want to send it?New research shows how dangerous this is


Quote: Do you want to check your email for Christmas? Overtime practices that can harm your health (December 14, 2021) are from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-12-emails-christmas-out-of-hours-health to 2021 Obtained December 14, 2014. html

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