You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Checking emails outside work damages relationships and increases anxiety, new study shows

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 10/08/2018 Fiona Simpson

The study also measured the effect of working off-duty on a person’s mental health. © Provided by Shutterstock The study also measured the effect of working off-duty on a person’s mental health. Checking work emails out of hours could harm romantic relationships and damage your mental health, a new study has shown.

People who constantly checked messages at home felt it did not affect their relationships but their partners disagreed, research showed.

In a survey of full-time workers, aged between 31 and 40, workforce emotions expert William Becker found that “the employees themselves seem largely unaware of the impact this has on their significant others.”

The researcher at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg told the Guardian: “They don’t see it as a problem, but their spouses say it really affects the relationship.”

The study also measured the effect of working off-duty on a person’s mental health.

Mr Becker, using research from Lehigh and Colorado State Universities, found that the pressure to check messages outside work led to increased stress and anxiety among employees.

Their partners also experienced increased stress and ill health © Provided by Shutterstock Their partners also experienced increased stress and ill health Their partners also experienced increased stress and ill health, Mr Becker added describing the “insidious downsides” of the always-on society.

The report will be presented at an annual meeting of the Academy of Management in Chicago on Friday.

It says 24-hour connectivity “may be at least partly to blame for the national epidemic of stress and anxiety”.

Mr Becker called for a 7pm cut-off time for emails to be declared by bosses.

Related: 13 Signs It's Time to Get Help for Anxiety (provided by Redbook)

He also suggested companies launch message-free periods or introduce rotas to ensure people have evenings off.

Employees were also urged to choose family and relationships over working at home.

Mr Becker concluded: “If we don’t address this, it will only get worse and people will start to burn out, leave organisations, and have a lot more relationship problems.”

Watch: 8 Habits of Happily Married Couples (provided by Real Simple)

UP NEXT
UP NEXT
AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Evening Standard

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon