Two-fifths of employees check emails outside of work

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Christmas stress reduced by removing access to emails over holiday

As more than half of UK employees are feeling stressed in the run up to Christmas, one company has suggested that staff should not have access to their emails during evenings, weekends or the Christmas holiday.

This is the opinion of Aura Technology, an IT consultancy company that have said that the 54 per cent of UK employees are stressed as we get closer to Christmas. Therefore they believe businesses should revoke access to emails over the holiday.

They have also suggested that an office pet is a good way to alleviate workplace stress. As well as offering more sabbaticals, providing staff with fitness trackers and meditation apps.

According to the CIPD, 40 per cent of workers check their emails outside of working hours at least five times a day, with 33 per cent saying they cannot switch off when at home.

Aura’s analysis of government data also found that London, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham are the areas of the country where most people are diagnosed with stress, anxiety or depression,

Tim Walker, managing director of Aura Technology said:

Some employers reason that if their staff have out of hours email access then they will be more productive and in the short term that’s often true. However, the research on this is clear that working too many hours for too many consecutive days often leads to lost productivity over time, costing UK business £34.9 billion last year.

It’s also a major contributory cause of stress, anxiety and depression in the workplace. By limiting out of hours email access and using technology to promote wellbeing in the office, employers ward against the negative impact of burnout and common mental health issues.

By law, employers have a responsibility to make reasonable adjustments for staff struggling with stress, anxiety or depression and technology presents opportunities to tackle it. Restricting out of hours email and computer access prevents overworking and helps ensure that employees get the down time they need to protect their mental health and be productive in the workplace. Equally, offering more regular breaks, annual leave and sabbaticals can go a long way to making sure staff aren’t run into the ground.

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