In the age of 24/7 working, finding a work/life balance is harder than ever – but it’s so important to be able to switch off sometimes.

Do you check your phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night? If your answer’s yes, then you’re not alone. Nine-to-five is dying, and 24/7 is replacing it.

Three-quarters of Brits feel under pressure to respond to emails outside of work hours which can increase anxiety, according to research from Bupa UK for World Health Day, and the same figure wake up and go to sleep with message-checking manifesting in their mind.

Over half of Brits now access their work emails remotely and, sadly, the findings suggest that emails are replacing loved ones as the first thing working Brits think about.

This all, inevitably, has a negative effect on the individual and, consequently, their work.

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Bupa UK’s Clinical Director for Mental Health, Pablo Vandenabeele, said: “Like our mobile devices, if we don’t get the opportunity to recharge, we cannot work – at least not very well. Technology has transformed the workplace and we no longer need to be at our desks in order to get the job done. However, working remotely means that the majority of us allow work to encroach on our home life.

“The focus of this year’s World Health Day is depression – a topic that is now being openly discussed and considered within the workplace. It is important that employees that feel ruled by their inbox are encouraged and feel empowered to take a break as a sustained feeling that you are not in control of your life can lead to stress, exhaustion, anxiety and depression.”

Bupa UK’s research concluded that, looking across the generations, employees between 18- and 24-years-old are the most likely to check their emails – even when they’re signed off ill. However, those aged 45- to 54-years-old were half as likely as 18- to 24-year-olds to feel stressed if they were unable to access their emails.

Conversely, the majority don’t believe that being unable to respond to emails outside of work would impact their job security or chance of a promotion. This indicates that those who are always ‘locked in’ to their emails are simply putting themselves under unnecessary pressure.

Article by HR Grapevine

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