UK workers are finding themselves constantly switched on, with nearly half (41%) checking their work emails outside of office hours according to a study by PMI Health Group.
The research showed that more than a third (35%) of those working during their personal time feel that doing so increases their levels of stress.
PMI Health Group Director, Mike Blake, said:
“Mobile technology, such as smartphones and tablets, is extending the workplace into employees’ homes and while this offers benefits for flexible working, it can also lead to work-life boundaries becoming blurred.
“This is clearly posing a risk to employee mental health and employers must be mindful of the potential consequences of this, from reduced productivity to stress-related sickness absence.”
The biggest reason reported by respondents for reading or sending emails outside of work is personal pride (45%), followed by pressures from an extensive workload (39%).
Of those checking emails out of hours, 83 percent say they do so in the evening and more than a quarter (28 per cent) do so while they’re on holiday.
The study also revealed that younger workers are more inclined to access work emails out of hours than their older colleagues – 48 percent of those aged 25 to 34 do so, compared to 31 percent of those aged 45 to 54.
“This finding reflects the general use of smartphones and tablets with previous studies showing that the younger generation spend more time online than older individuals.”