Exhausted, but Unable to Disconnect: The impact of Email-related Organizational Expectations on Work-family Balance

Source: Liuba Belkin of Lehigh University, William Becker of Virginia Tech and Samantha A. Conroy of Colorado State University, 2016

From the press release:
Earlier this year, France passed a labor reform law that banned checking emails on weekends. New research—to be presented next week at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management—suggests other countries might do well to follow suit, for the sake of employee health and productivity.

A new study—authored by Liuba Belkin of Lehigh University, William Becker of Virginia Tech and Samantha A. Conroy of Colorado State University—finds a link between organizational after-hours email expectations and emotional exhaustion, which hinders work-family balance. The results suggest that modern workplace technologies may be hurting the very employees that those technologies were designed to help.

Using data collected from 297 working adults, Belkin and her colleagues looked at the role of organizational expectation regarding “off” hour emailing and found it negatively impacts employee emotional states, leading to “burnout” and diminished work-family balance, which is essential for individual health and well-being. The study—described in an article entitled Exhausted, but Unable to Disconnect: The impact of Email-related Organizational Expectations on Work-family Balance—is the first to identify email-related expectations as a job stressor along with already established factors such as high workload, interpersonal conflicts, physical environment or time pressure.

Previous research has shown that in order to restore resources used during the day at work, employees must be able to detach both mentally and physically from work…..