Researchers from UK-based Future Work Centre have found that people who automatically receive emails on their devices report high levels of ’email pressure’. The key to happiness so as to reduce stress, they say, is switching off email notifications on your smartphone.
Despite its widespread usage and popularity as a communication tool, for some individuals and employers, email can be a source of major frustration, anxiety, stress and lost productivity, the researchers said.
As the volume of email continues to rise, many struggle to prioritise work effectively and are constantly interrupted by the flow of messages and demands, resulting in decreased productivity and stress.
After conducting a survey of about 2,000 people across a variety of industries, sectors and job roles in the UK, the researchers “found a strong relationship between using ‘push’ email and perceived email pressure. This means that people who automatically receive email on their devices were more likely to report higher levels of email pressure.
Checking email earlier in the morning or later at night is also associated with higher levels of stress, they said.
The research also highlighted some interesting group differences in the role personality plays in the experience of email and how email has the potential to both positively and negatively impact work-life balance.
People who reported higher levels of stress due to email pressure also experienced greater interference between work and home.
Researchers also found that personality plays a key role in determining how much email pressure one feels and the extent to which it interferes with work-life balance.
“To reduce stress use email when you intend to, not just because it’s always running in the background,” researchers said.