People who receive emails from their superiors or clients at home after a tiring day at work run the risk of their personal lives being affected critically, a new study shows.
The researchers surveyed 341 working adults over a seven-day period to track their feelings when they accessed a work email away from office.
"Most of them reported they became angry when they received a work email or text after they had gone home and that communication was negatively worded or required a lot of the person's time," said lead study author Marcus Butts from the University of Texas, Arlington in the US.
"The after-hour emails really affected those workers' personal lives," Butts added. Also, people who tried to separate work from their personal life experienced more work-life interference.
Butts said one of the most surprising findings of the study was that people who received positive electronic communications after hours were happy.
However, those good vibes were not long lasting. Overall, two major categories of workers were identified: the segmentors and the integrators.
He said the segmentors wanted to keep their personal and work lives separate. Not surprisingly, they were the ones, who were most negatively impacted when facing after business hours communications.
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The integrators were the participants who wanted to know what was going on at work when they received an email or text. They got angry as well when receiving communications but it did not interfere with their personal lives.
Some of the recommendations the study makes include training for what to say and what not to say in an email or text. The study was published in the Academy of Management Journal.