Benefits and Compensation, Talent

Why Your Employees Need Days to Unplug

CareerBuilder recently revealed that modern-day workers have a difficult time unplugging from their devices and from work as a result. So, they are burned out, fatigued, stressed, and unhappy.

unplugged

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This research revealed that:

  • 49% of workers say they check or respond to work e-mails after leaving the office for the night.
  • 45% workers say they complete work outside of office hours.
  • While on vacation, 31% of workers read work e-mails, and 18% check in with the office.

At first it seems like it would be easy to push the blame on workers’ shoulders. They are, after all, responsible for not turning off their devices when they leave the office, right? But … are they?
The same research conducted by CareerBuilder also suggests that a main cause of workers’ stress levels in the modern-day workforce is its “always on” and “ever-connected” culture.
Workers can’t simply evade e-mails and work-related concerns outside of the office, even if they wanted to, because their devices are always reminding them of what’s going on at the office and what their bosses and cohorts are doing and need from them.
In fact, it’s gotten so bad that one New York City official is proposing legislation (similar to legislation passed in France) to make it mandatory for private employers to define “work hours” so that workers have the right to ignore e-mails when they’re not at work.
Here’s why you’ll want to provide your employees with real opportunities to unplug.

Productivity Rates and Absenteeism Rates Will Improve

Too much screen time damages the human brain and impairs cognitive functioning and ultimately affects a person’s ability to plan, prioritize, organize, and complete routine and easy tasks, according to Psychology Today. So, when your employees are tied to their devices at all hours of the day and working more hours, they will, ironically, not end up being as productive.
The American Institute of Stress (AIS) also reveals that stressed workers are working longer hours, are less productive, and call out more from work, costing employers billions of dollars annually. And according to AIS, a whopping 46% of workers claim that their main cause of stress at work is their workload, which is also the number one cause for workplace stress.
Bottom line: If you allow your employees to unplug from their devices more often, you’ll increase their rates of productivity, and they’ll show up to work more often because they won’t have to call in so often due to being exhausted because they had to work so much after they left the office.

Healthcare Costs Will Go Down

Too much screen time and workplace-induced stress also lead to obesity, increased risk of heart disease or heart attack, back pain, poor quality of sleep and fatigue, and headaches. And too much screen time and stress can also lead to depression and other mental illnesses. So, if you want to cut back your organization’s healthcare costs, let your employees unplug more often.
You don’t have to wait for legislation to be enacted in order to act—just remember the reasons above for why your employees should be allowed to unplug more often, and let them do so today.