‘Always-on’ Workplace Connectivity and Employee Stress

A recent article posted on the PC Pro website discusses the downside of today’s mobile device ubiquity with regard to working professionals’ always-on connectivity to the workplace.

The article, “Information overload driving up office worker stress,” shares some interesting statistics that counter the notion that the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend is unquestionably beneficial in terms of worker productivity.

From the piece:

“When it comes to mobile devices, 40% of those who use them for work said they felt under constant pressure to check the device just in case they miss something, while 45% felt under pressure to respond immediately, irrespective of where they are or what they are doing.

It is perhaps not surprising then that 58% of respondents admitted to checking for work messages within 15 minutes of waking up in the morning and 52% said it was one of the last things they did before going to bed at night.

Around 30% of those surveyed said this information deluge has a negative impact on their job satisfaction and on their health and wellbeing.”

Even though the article cited above reports findings from a survey specific to the U.K., I believe results from similar surveys conducted in many other countries would parallel those reported by PC Pro.

Personally, I don’t feel as though smartphone-enabled access to my workplace makes my life more stressful. On the contrary, actually, because I appreciate being able to read through the after-hours email messages I receive before showing up each morning and immediately feeling overwhelmed (i.e., stressed out) in the face of so much unanswered correspondence.

But I also mourn the fact that many of today’s professionals no longer enjoy total separation between work and home, regardless of whether they bring it on themselves through self-mandated, around-the-clock email checking.

I’d love to read your thoughts regarding mobile devices and their ties to the workplace. Please share your comments below.

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  1. Margo Valens May 28, 2014 -

    we need to be able to disconnect from technology – set a time for your phone to come on in the morning and off at night – and leave it alone.

    • Nathan Van Ness May 28, 2014 -

      I agree, Margo. My policy is to never view anything work-related during after hours when it could potentially interfere with anything home-life related. Thanks for your comment.

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