The development of high technology allows people to be available at work 24/7. On one hand it`s very good for employee`s productivity, from another it has some disadvantages.
Due to the recent Gallup company research, more than one-third frequently check work email after business hours. It means that people continue to work after a working day. About 96% have access to a laptop, smartphone or tablet. 2/3 Americans say that the most part of their work they do ‘’outside’’. So their working time increases or even can reach 24 hours. This is the result of mobile technology.
Jim Harter, an executive in Gallup’s workplace management practice, writes in the Harvard Business Review:
“We found that just over a third of full-time workers say they frequently check email outside normal working hours—and those who do are 17 percent more likely to report better overall lives compared with those who say they never check email outside work,” Harter writes in HBR. The results still hold after controlling for income, age, gender, and education differences. “Similarly, those who spend seven or more hours checking their email outside work during a typical week are more likely to rate their overall lives highly than those who report zero hours of this activity.”
“Problems arise when companies make such policy decisions without considering whether their employees are engaged. If we assume work can be engaging and rewarding, rather than a necessary burden, our assumptions about people and policy become quite different,” he writes. “Gallup’s research has found that high levels of engagement are more important than specific well-being policies.”
Gallup analyzed interviews of thousand U.S. workers and singled out three types of workers:
– those who are engaged
– not engaged
– and disengaged
According to research, 30 percent of U.S. workers are engaged, or enthusiastically involved with their work and organization, 52 percent of U.S. workers are not engaged, which means they show up to work and do the bare minimum, 18 percent of employees are actively disengaged, meaning they are working against their own organization.
Also there is a point for stress. Harter says that the higher the level of engagement, the higher is stress.
“Daily stress is significantly lower for engaged workers and higher for actively disengaged workers, regardless of whether their employer expects them to check email during nonwork hours or not,” he writes. “And it is the vast swath of ‘not engaged’ or ‘indifferent’ workers who are most influenced by policy decisions of this nature. Among the ‘not engaged’ workers who say their employer expects them to check email outside normal working hours, 54 percent report a lot of stress the previous day.”
So, each employer should decide if checking email is harmful for the employees or not.