More Than Half of Americans Check Their Work Email After Hours

by Michelle Guerrere

When did our jobs become so much about our inboxes? When I left my last role, it was almost a relief to say goodbye to the thousands (yes, thousands) of messages I had accumulated over the years. For a month after I left, I still hit the email icon on my iPhone and refreshed constantly while I was out to dinner with friends, riding the subway, or just watching Netflix. 

When enterprise service-management platform Samanage released its findings this week from a survey of American adults that tested how much time they spent checking their company email accounts after hours, I found out I was part of the majority. Apparently, more than half of employees in the U.S. check their work email after hours, and 60% of those who had email on their phones checked it during dinner, according to a piece published in Inc. The article brings up some other valid points related to the study that we need to consider:

  1. Americans don't think they have a choice. More than 10% of those surveyed said their supervisors expected them to be on email on off-hours, while others said they felt like they had to do so in order to keep up with their workload.
  2. It may be sabotaging our personal lives. We aren't actually focusing on our loved ones or being present in the moment (see the statistic about checking email during dinner). It's also messing up our sleep cycles, with 50% of those polled saying they’ve woken up in the middle of the night to refresh their mail.
  3. We should only be notified about what's actually urgent. Those who participated in the study said they wished important emails were flagged. Or here's another thought: If only important emails were sent after hours, we wouldn't wake up to a flooded inbox every day.

A quirky eye mask will let you focus on getting some shut-eye.

Do you check your work email once you've left the office?

Explore: Work, Life

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