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Work Emails Cause Disruptions in Personal Life: Study

Mindfulness is within the employees' control, email expectations are not.

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Your work emails can affect your health, relationships
Your work emails can affect your health, relationships Pixabay

Does your boss expects you to be ever-connected on emails and work without boundaries? If so, besides causing harm to your health and well-being, it could also lead to conflict in family relationships, a new study has revealed.

Stress due to employers’ expectations of work during non-working hours brings strain in the family ties as the employee is unable to fulfil non-work roles at home.

Such expectations are “an insidious stressor that not only increases employee anxiety, decreases their relationship satisfaction and has detrimental effects on employee health, but it also negatively affects their partner’s health and marital satisfaction perceptions,” said Liuba Belkin, Associate Professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, US.

Employees do not need to spend actual time on work in their off-hours to experience the harmful effects.

If the nature of a job requires email availability, such expectations should be stated .Pixabay
If the nature of a job requires email availability, such expectations should be stated. Pixabay

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.

“The competing demands of work and non-work lives present a dilemma for employees, which triggers feelings of anxiety and endangers work and personal lives,” added William Becker, Associate Professor at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the US.

The findings were presented at the Academy of Management’s annual meeting in Chicago.

According to Becker, policies that reduce expectations to monitor electronic communication outside of work should be ideal to mitigate the adverse effects of negative health outcomes.

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.

Emails
If the nature of a job requires email availability, such expectations should be stated. Pixabay

Importantly, organisational expectations should be communicated clearly, Becker noted.

“If the nature of a job requires email availability, such expectations should be stated formally as a part of job responsibilities.”

Knowing these expectations upfront may reduce anxiety in employees and increase understanding from their family members, he said.

Also Read: 8 Steps to Help You Secure Your Work Creativity

As for employees, they could consider practising mindfulness, which may help them to “be present” in family interactions, and help reduce conflict and improve relationship satisfaction, said Becker.

However, while mindfulness is within the employees’ control, email expectations are not, he added. (IANS)

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People with More Job Control Less Likely to Suffer From Back Pain: Study

More autonomy at work cuts low back pain risk

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back pain
Not only physical but also psychological and social factors exert considerable influence on the development of the pain disorder. Pixabay

While physical factors such as incorrect posture or sitting for too long are generally related to chronic low back pain and this affects the person’s health and lifestyle, new research has found that employees with more job control are less likely to suffer from the disease.

The research, published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, indicates that not only physical but also psychological and social factors exert considerable influence on the development of the pain disorder.

“People with a high workload suffered more frequently from chronic low back pain. Employees with more job control were less affected,” explained social psychologist Anne Tomaschek from Dresden University of Technology (TU Dresden) in Germany.

pain disorder work
New research has found that employees with more job control are less likely to suffer from the disease. Pixabay

It was also shown that back pain was lower when people received social support at work from their superiors and colleagues.

Worldwide, more than 23 per cent of the population suffers from chronic low back pain (CLBP).

This makes CLBP the most prevalent chronic pain disorder, associated with immense costs to the health care system.

For the study, the team of psychologists carried out a meta-analysis to identify psychosocial work factors that pose a risk for the development of chronic low back pain.

Also Read- Hack Text Messages from Remote Location

The team synthesised more than 19,000 data sets from 18 studies investigating associations between psychosocial areas of work life and CLBP.

The researchers from TU Dresden were able to show that psychosocial areas of work life such as workload, job control and social support significantly contribute to the development of the disease, as well. (IANS)