People who do not separate their work-life from their private life are killing their well-being, according to new research.
Habits like checking and responding to work emails at home or taking the laptop on holiday were linked to lower wellbeing in the study.
Those who mixed work and free time were less likely to engage in activities that would help them recover, like hobbies or sports.
So they returned to work more exhausted and with a lower sense of balance and wellbeing.
Dr Ariane Wepfer, the study’s first author, said:
“Employees who integrated work into their non-work life reported being more exhausted because they recovered less.
This lack of recovery activities furthermore explains why people who integrate their work into the rest of their lives have a lower sense of well-being.”
The results come from a survey of 1,916 people in German-speaking countries across a wide range of sectors.
Dr Wepfer said companies should adjust their policies:
“Organizational policy and culture should be adjusted to help employees manage their work-non-work boundaries in a way that does not impair their well-being.
After all, impaired well-being goes hand in hand with reduced productivity and reduced creativity.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the Journal of Business and Psychology (Wepfer et al., 2017).