In today’s electronic age of smartphones, tablets and laptops, it is a challenge for many working professionals to detach from their jobs during non-working hours. If you are one of those who are tempted to check your work email when you are not at work, you should be aware of the research findings of YoungAh Park, Assistant Professor of psychology at Kansas State University. YoungAh Park found that detaching from your work mentally, physically and electronically is the key to recovering from job stress and managing your work-family boundaries. Staying connected to your job through checking work emails or text messages outside your normal working hours can be advantageous to your job. However, it can also lead to work-related stress that can spill over into your home and family life causing added stress between you, your spouse and your family.
For instance, if you receive an unpleasant email or text from a boss, co-worker, client or other business associate and you read the message after work hours, this could affect how you feel and behave toward your spouse or family and disrupt your home life. According to Park, “if one spouse is experiencing work stress, it can affect the other spouse. If both are stressed from work and neither is able to use the home as a place to recharge for the next day, the stress can build up at home rather than decrease.” When individuals are under stress their mental and physical resources are exhausted. Park says: “…they are less likely to self-regulate hostile behaviors and provide sufficient support for their spouse… If working couples don’t recuperate from their job stress while at home, they would be likely to fall into a spiral of lost resources.”
Data shows that people who are able to detach from their work have less burnout and are more energized with positive emotions, and they are more satisfied with their lives. Park recommends setting up strong technological boundaries and rules for restricting your work activities to during working hours and separating work from your home life. Granted, there are times when you may need to be involved in a work-related activity outside normal working hours. Let your co-workers, boss or employees know what your boundaries are and what they should expect so they can set their own boundaries. This helps everyone work harmoniously.
If you or your employees are not getting enough time to unwind from the stress of work-related activities, your company actually loses money. Research shows that everyone must be given the opportunity to be refreshed, rested and de-stressed from work activities so they are at their best to perform. By being able to detach from your work, both you and your business benefit. Job performance will improve, and your business will reap positive benefits because you will be performing at your peak.
Sanford M. Fisch
CEO & Co-Founder
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
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San Diego, California 92123
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