Navigation Links
'Email Vacations' Boost Job Productivity, Lower Stress: Study

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Email vacations while on the job could benefit people's health, reducing stress levels and contributing to better focus, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the University of California, Irvine, and the U.S. Army found that a group of workers who were cut off from office email use for five days experienced more natural, variable heart rates and switched between computer windows only half as much.

Study co-author Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the university, said the findings could help boost productivity in offices that choose to implement these email vacations, either by controlling email login times, batching messages or through other strategies.

"We were surprised by the results, because they didn't have to turn out this way," Mark said. "It's possible that people might have been even more stressed not to have email, to feel like they were missing out on something, so we didn't expect that people would become significantly less stressed."

Mark and her colleagues presented the study this week at a meeting of the Association for Computing Machinery, in Austin, Texas. Research presented at scientific conferences is considered preliminary and has not been peer-reviewed.

Thirteen civilian employees at the Army's Natick Soldier Systems Center, near Boston, took part in a three-day baseline data-collection phase, including interviews about their existing multitasking and email usage, and a five-day no-email period. All participants, who were split between men and women, were information workers whose job titles included chemical engineer, psychologist, materials scientist, biologist, food technologist and research administrator.

Co-workers who continued reading emails switched screens twice as often -- an average of 37 times per hour compared with 18 for "vacationers" -- and were in a steady "high-alert" state, with more constant heart rates, while those removed from email had more natural, variable heart rates, according to the study. They reported feeling better able to do their jobs and stay on task, with fewer stressful and time-wasting interruptions.

"While the study focused on email . . . it really got at some important issues such as multitasking, focus and being present at what we do on a day-to-day basis," said David Ballard, head of the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program. "It really highlights the importance of people not trying to do so many things at one time and being present at what they do."

Despite the small number of participants, the results were robust, researcher Mark said, and the only downside participants reported was feeling somewhat isolated -- though they were able to gather certain necessary information face to face from colleagues who did have email access.

Ballard said he has heard of some employers considering email blackout periods to benefit employees, but acknowledged that the concept "is a real challenge."

"The challenge here is that they would need to build some flexibility into the process," he said. "People like to work in different ways . . . not a one-size-fits-all approach."

"I think as we focus on flexibility in the workplace and flexible work arrangements that it's harder to implement an across-the-board solution like that," Ballard added. "We know from research that when employees have less control, it actually affects their performance as well. It could actually increase their stress level."

Mark said she'd like her future research to focus on how digital technology affects offline relationships, not just in the workplace.

"People are so consumed with technology, it's 24/7," she said. "I think the current younger generation interacts very differently than the older generation. I'd like to know the effect on interpersonal skills."

More information

Harvard Business School offers tips for mastering email overload.

SOURCES: Gloria Mark, Ph.D., professor, department of informatics, University of California, Irvine; David Ballard, Psy.D., head, Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program, American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.; May 7, 2012, presentation, Association for Computing Machinery's Computer-Human Interaction Conference, Austin, Texas

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Email vacations decrease stress, increase concentration, researchers say
2. In the Age of Email, the Good, Old Letter Still Holds Sway
3. People May Lie More Often in Emails, Instant Messages
4. Email sexual advice study highlights problems raised by different ages and cultures
5. MessageSolution Exhibits Cloud-Based Integrated Archiving Solution for Email, File Systems and SharePoint at SaaSCon 2010, Kicks off MessageSolution SaaS Tour 2010
6. MessageSolution First in the Market to Offer All-in-One, Integrated Cloud-Based Archiving for Email, File Systems and SharePoint at Novell BrainShare 2010
7. National Center for Policy Analysis and Salem Radio Network Deliver One Million Emails to Congress to Stop ObamaCare
8. Apptix Signs 100,000 Seat Hosted Exchange Email Contract
9. Sunset Marina and Resort on Tennessee's Dale Hollow Lake Provides Affordable Houseboat Vacations for Price-Conscious Families
10. Dual Purpose Vacations Combine Yoga Spa Vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, With Authentic Yogic Miracles Conference
11. Independent Study Reveals Family Bonds made Stronger on Vacations where Animals are Involved
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
'Email Vacations' Boost Job Productivity, Lower Stress: Study
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... , ... Smoke alarms can save lives. In fact, according to the National ... reported home fires in half. As part of Fire Prevention Week, Amica Insurance ... maintained. , Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Matrix IT Medical Tracking Systems LLC, a ... world’s first sterile field scanner. , The TRACTUS platform was developed, ... Unique Device Identifier (UDI) Final Rule, which will require manufacturers to directly mark ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... New Orleans, LA (PRWEB) , ... October 09, ... ... firm with offices serving New Orleans and the surrounding communities, is initiating a ... shelter and medical care for unwanted animals in southern Louisiana. , Animal ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... City, UT (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2015 , ... ... Mental Illness Awareness Week. For many teenagers facing mental illness, the stigma associated with ... they need. , ViewPoint Center understands the importance of supporting teens with ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... October 09, 2015 , ... Amada ... recently opened its newest office in Maryland – its Bethesda location. ... background as a project management technology consultant to many of the largest construction ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
... The new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ... for three hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) will be the ... and professionals sponsored by the Association for Professionals ... New CMS Regulation: Implications for Infection Prevention & ...
... Care Investment Trust Inc.,(NYSE: CRE ) today announced ... CIT, to Care,s Board of Directors, which increases the,number ... his capacity as President of Corporate Finance at CIT, ... business unit leaders,in assessing their go-to-market models, developing integrated ...
... the medical-surgical industry,s most ... CHICAGO, April 17 GHX today unveiled ... customizable, real-time access to the,medical-surgical industry,s most ... GHX Market Intelligence*. With GHX,MiShare, manufacturers can ...
... Sign language interpreting is one of the highest-risk professions ... by Rochester Institute of Technology. The research indicates that ... high-risk tasks conducted in industrial settings, including assembly line ... increase in the mental and cognitive stress of the ...
... based,organizations and Babies,R,Us to help prepare local moms for the arrival of ... ... local moms-to-be, April,showers takes on a whole new meaning as Anthem Blue ... Resource Center,(CRC) in Evansville, Indiana., Amid the traditional theme of pink ...
... the Pipeline, LIVINGSTON, N.J., April 17 ... that its wholly-owned,subsidiary, Genotec Nutritionals, Inc., a New ... the distribution of its branded,products and through custom ... several large transactions for the manufacture of,fish oil ...
Cached Medicine News:
(Date:10/9/2015)... Oct. 9, 2015 Regulatory affairs groups within medical ... --> --> These specialized groups are charged ... of global regulations pertaining to the development and marketing of ... groups largely rely on their own internal effectiveness and efficiencies ... --> --> Optimal ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... 9, 2015 ® ... einer Kolonoskopie im Rahmen eines Screenings, einer ... NOCT-Studie bewertete auch die Compliance, Sicherheit, Patientenakzeptanz ... ® ) an erwachsenen Patienten vergleicht, die ... einer beobachtenden oder einer diagnostischen Kolonoskopie unterziehen. ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... , October 9, 2015 ... of major players. --> India ... --> announces addition of 3 ... and 2020 forecasts for global markets as well ... along with analysis of major players. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
... in Mice Transgenic for Human TNFa, LAUSANNE, ... (Debiopharm), a global independent biopharmaceutical,development company specialising ... presentation of preclinical results that,validate the mechanism ... vaccine, that inhibits inflammatory processes in animal,models ...
... 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --,InB:Biotechnologies, Inc. ("BioTech"), a wholly-owned ... strong positive,results in studies of vaccines against ... proprietary AIPwLV(TM) vaccine technology. The,studies were conducted ... (CMB), the Contract Research Organization led by ...
Cached Medicine Technology:
... The Self-Cath Closed System is a ... method for safe, simple catheterization designed ... tract infections. It includes a ... The new EasyOff tear tab makes ...
... The Self-Cath Closed System is a ... method for safe, simple catheterization designed ... tract infections. It includes a ... The new EasyOff tear tab makes ...
... Self-Cath family of 100% ... a variety of options ... Each catheter is made ... PVC and has smooth ...
... The Self-Cath family ... offers patients a variety ... self-catheterization. Each catheter ... medical grade PVC and ...
Medicine Products: