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By Kristina Hernandez
Transcript of By Kristina Hernandez
The average smart phone user looks at their phone 110 times a day, many of those times responding to work related material.
Organizational expectations can steal employee resources even when actual time is not required because employees cannot fully separate from work" (Friedman, 2016)
Anticipatory stress - which is the anxiety associated with expecting after hour emails - is a large proponent affecting employees emotional well being.
Who or what is to blame?
“In some workplaces, informal norms may create expectations that workers check e-mail in the evenings, on weekends, and even while on vacation” (Adkins & Premeaux, 2014 p. 83)
Employers and Employees need to have open communication about the expectations of after hour work and come up with an agreement on how to handle it fairly with proper compensation.
Lack of connection between policy and employer expectations leads to a lack of regulation for employees which results in unhealthy work habits
Technology and the flexible workforce
While technology can feel restrictive to employee freedom, it has opened the workplace and employees to more opportunities for flexibility.
“Research shows that flexible work arrangements may reduce stress because employees working flexibly are more satisfied with their jobs, more satisfied with their lives, and experience better work-family balance.” (WHY EMPLOYEES NEED WORKPLACE FLEXIBLITY, n.d para. 2)
Getting to work in their selected environment can positively enhance employees emotional wellbeing.
Adkins, C., & Premeaux, S. (2014). The Use of Communication Technology to
Manage Work-Home Boundaries. 82-100. Retrieved February 19, 2017, from http://www.ibam.com/pubs/jbam/articles/vol15/No2/Adkins%20article%204%20after%20asst%20ed.pdf
Behson, S. (2014). Increase Workplace Flexibility and Boost Performance. Retrieved
February 20, 2017, from https://hbr.org/2014/increase-workplace-flexibility-and-boost-performance
France-Presse, A. (2016, December 31). French win 'right to disconnect' from out-of-
hours work emails. Retrieved February 20, 2017, from
Friedman, L. (2016). After-hours email expectations hurt employee well-being.
Retrieved February 20, 2017, from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-after-hours-email-employee-well-being.ht ml
Hoeven, C. L., & Zoonen, W. V. (2015). Flexible work designs and employee well‐
being: examining the effects of resources and demands. Retrieved February 25, 2017, from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ntwe.12052/pdf
Rutter, M. (2016). Reasons for letting employees "switch off'. Occupational Health,
WHY EMPLOYEES NEED FLEXIBILITY. (n.d.) Boston College: Center on Aging
& Work. Retrieved February 25, 2017, from http://workplaceflexibility.bc.edu/need/need_employees
New technology has created expectations for employees to engage in work after hours which is damaging to their overall emotional well-being, especially if they are not given time to recharge.
Creating guidelines for technology use and expectations from employees are the first steps in navigating the constantly evolving work environment.
Instead of trying to prescribe exact working patterns, employers would be better advised to put forward various options for what healthy technology use looks like, so that employees can select the approach that works best for them. (Rutter, 2016 p.68)
Based on various research and studies, an over whelming majority point to the expectations on employees that come along with the ability to be “always connected” create a wear on employees emotional and mental well being.
Technology in the workplace:
Are after hour work expectations affecting employee’s emotional well being?
By Kristina Hernandez