Since the advent of the internet, it’s become increasingly more difficult to maintain a healthy work / life balance.

Firing off emails and updating Google docs outside of office hours has become common practice among many of us, and gives the illusion that we’re keeping on top of things.


But, in reality, this habit is having a detrimental effect on our mental and emotional wellbeing.

According to a study conducted by Colorado State University, Virginia Tech and Lehigh University and authored by Liuba Belkin, tending to emails outside of office hours results in ‘emotional exhaustion’.

And while the sheer number of emails we deal with outside working hours is worrying in itself, researchers have identified a further repercussion of the habit known as ‘anticipatory stress’ - anxiety created by waiting on an email or composing a response to correspondence you have not yet even received.


“Email is notoriously known to be the impediment of the recovery process,” the study states.

"Its accessibility contributes to experience of work overload since it allows employees to engage in work as if they never left the workspace, and at the same time, inhibits their ability to psychologically detach from work-related issues via continuous connectivity.”


By engaging in the practice on a regular basis, the individual is putting their mental health at risk as well as ultimately reducing their work productivity.

“Satisfaction with the balance between work and family domains is important for individual health and wellbeing, while individual inability to successfully balance roles in those domains can lead to anxiety and depression, lowered satisfaction with both work and family roles, absenteeism, decreased job productivity and organisational commitment and greater turnover.”

It’s time to disconnect, ladies.