People who access email automatically on their mobiles or other devices are more likely to feel pressure, according to a research study to be presented at a psychology conference this week.
The results of the You’ve got mail! study by the Future Work Centre will be presented at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology annual conference in Nottingham this week.
The organisation surveyed just under 2,000 people across a variety of industries, sectors and job roles in the UK.
It found a strong relationship between using ‘push’ email and perceived email pressure. This means that people who automatically receive email on their devices were more likely to report higher levels of email pressure. People who leave their email on all day were also much more likely to say that they experienced email pressure.
Those who check email earlier in the morning or later at night also feel higher levels of email pressure and managers experience significantly higher levels of email pressure when compared to non-managers.
Sectors where email pressure was perceived to be highest included IT and marketing, PR and media.
The research also highlighted group differences in the role personality plays in workers’ experience of email and how email has the potential to both positively and negatively impact our work-life balance. For instance, people who reported higher levels of email pressure also experienced greater interference between work and home – and home and work. The study also found personality plays a key role in determining how much email pressure is felt and the extent to which it interferes with work-life balance with less confident people more likely to be affected negatively.