182 Working Off the Clock

Based on research by Jan Dettmers, Vahle-Hinz T., E. Bamberg, et al. written by Mara Rowcliffe, BS

When you’re not at work, do you check your email and answer work related phone calls?

Mobile communication now allows 24/7 availability. Is that good for workers?
According to a new study conducted by University of Hamburg psychologists, being easily accessible during off hours may adversely impact well-being. The researchers evaluated 132 working individuals in 13 companies to assess how working outside normal hours influenced people’s mood the next day. The participants completed daily surveys during four days when they were required to be available and four days when they were not required to be available during nonworking hours. Saliva samples were obtained to measure cortisol levels, a hormone the body releases in response to stress.
Results indicated that extended work availability reduced energy and calmness the following morning. The individuals who were on call and conducted additional work outside of normal hours also displayed higher stress levels. The researchers concluded that being expected to respond to emails and phone calls outside of work reduces true leisure time and might inhibit imperative resting time, prohibiting work recovery.

When it’s time to clock out, put your phone and computer away. Take time to relax. Rejuvenate!

Dettmers, Jan, Vahle-Hinz, T., Bamberg, E., Friedrich, N., & Keller, M. (2015). Extended Work Availability and Its Relation With Start-of-Day Mood and Cortisol.

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