An email a day can take the intimacy away—if you’re checking it at home that is.
The time that you’re taking to respond to a few emails is time taken away from your family. Even when you’re snuggled on the couch, catching up on The Handmaid’s Tale, you’re taking quality time away from your partner if your phone is also present. In this case, you’re still in work mode and your partner is now the third wheel.
Think about it…if you’re both supposed to be watching together, but 75% of your attention is put towards taking care of a client’s needs for work, you’re not really catching up are you? Then if he/she turns starts cracking up at something hilarious on TV, and turns to find your eyes glued to the smaller device in your hand, how do you think they would feel? Obviously, if this is a once in a while thing that you need to take care of, it may not be a big deal. But if this happens often, then your partner may start feeling neglected or unimportant, even if that’s not your intention.
If your arguments tend to revolve around quality time or they start when you open an email, it’s time to talk about creating more defined lines between work and home to have more balance in your life.
Checking Emails Affects Your Mental Health
This is a habit that lots of people find hard to break because they feel their job depends on it. But continuing to work after you’ve left the office can be damaging to your mental health.
A recent Virginia Tech study found that employees who always feel the need to be in work mode experience increased stress and anxiety. Researchers surveyed University employees and found that their stress and anxiety levels where vastly underestimated and could have harmful effects on their health.
“The competing demands of work and non-work lives present a dilemma for employees, which triggers feelings of anxiety and endangers work and personal lives,” said co-author William Becker, associate professor of management in the Pamplin College of Business.
The study also makes it clear that jobs that require ‘flexible work boundaries’—which normally means you’ll occasionally have to work after hours—tend to turn into ‘work without boundaries.’ The occasional email can quickly become an everyday ordeal if you’re not careful.
So how do you break this habit?
For starters, let’s try to avoid it. When you’re interested in a job, ask about work-life balance and whether you’ll be expected to work after-hours, (this includes checking emails). Depending on their response, you can make it clear that having a work-free personal life is a priority to you.
Go offline. If you’re already battling with this habit, there’s still hope for you too. Reduce the temptation of checking your emails by disconnecting it from your phone or turning off your notifications.
Leave the paperwork at work. Having to meet a last-minute deadline is one thing, but if you’re taking work home almost every night, something has to give. Whether you’re not feeling productive at work or you have too much on your plate, try speaking with your boss to figure out a solution that could present more boundaries.
At CWC Coaching, our team consists of licensed therapists, life coaches, and counselors. We assist clients with self-improvement, career development, negative self-talk, psychological pain, self-sabotaging behavior, past hurts and finding your purpose.
If you are ready to increase your self-awareness and happiness, breakthrough limiting behavior and understand your purpose in life, we’d love to help guide you on this journey.