If your employees have a computer, tablet, or smart phone, odds are they work remotely and answer emails into the wee hours of the morning.
But while most full-time employees say they like being in constant contact with their jobs, this constant state of connection is being linked to added levels of worker stress.
Two new Gallup polls and a research report from Deloitte Consulting are shedding new light on the mobile workforce
One Gallup poll found that nearly eight out of 10 workers see an upside to being able to work remotely after normal business hours.
However, a second Gallup polled found that workers who work offsite and off hour are more likely to experience a substantial amount of stress on any given day than workers who do not. The two Gallup polls are part of survey series analyzing the effects of mobile technologies on business.
Indeed, the benefits of being connected have also been offset by feelings of being overwhelmed.
Deloittes Global Human Capital Trends 2014 report found that 65% of the 2,500 business and human resource leaders say the overwhelmed employee is an urgent and important trend.
Tom Hodson, managing principal of Deloitte Consultings leadership center for clients, says that the increase in volume [of connectivity] manifests itself in many different ways.
Average executives are getting 145 emails a day and are interrupted every 3 minutes, and people are checking their phones literally 150 times a day, Hodson explains to EBN. The overwhelming piece of it is, if you think about that volume, more work means people have less off time. More interruptions mean you have less focus.
The 24/7 work environment can limit ones ability to take a step back and think out a solution.
Stress related to this automated and more reactionary workplace has grown over the years as technology continued its invasion. More than two-thirds of Americans say that work is a major source of stress for them, according to American Psychological Associations annual survey.
Stress is mathematically related to everything from health claims to retention and turnover, Hodson says. When you have a stressed workforce, you are going to have differences in health the actual physical health of your employees and you are going to be able to understand how it affects retention. It manifests itself in a lot of ways that are not good for the worker or the organization employing them.
Hodson advises that employers should address the overwhelming problem through three buckets: policies, tools and application and learning and development. These include employers that incorporate flexible work policies as well as place limits on meeting times and emails as ways to help to unplug executives and employees.
Theres a huge role when it comes to HR for learning and development. Being able to offer employees training on personal productivity and how to manage flow, explains Hodson.
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