In a recent study conducted by the University of California, researchers attached heart rate monitors to office workers while also monitoring what programs they were using. What did they find? Probably something you already knew: frequent email checkers are stressed out, and removing the constant email-checking from a worker's habits meant more focus and productivity.
Photo remixed from David Castillo Dominici (Shutterstock).
People who read email changed screens twice as often and were in a steady "high alert" state, with more constant heart rates. Those removed from email for five days experienced more natural, variable heart rates.
"We found that when you remove email from workers' lives, they multitask less and experience less stress," said UCI informatics professor Gloria Mark.
The key here is that frequent email checkers experience the most significant problems, with researchers suggesting that "controlling email login times, batching messages or other strategies might be helpful." It's an idea we're familiar with, and it's why just two months ago I suggested turning off push notifications for all your email, recommending instead that you batch your email.
So... what are you waiting for?
Email ‘vacations' decrease stress, increase concentration [UCI Today via NYT]