U.S. workers who email for work and who spend more hours working remotely outside of normal working hours are more likely to experience a substantial amount of stress on any given day than workers who do not exhibit these behaviors. Nearly half of workers who “frequently” email for work outside of normal working hours report experiencing stress “a lot of the day yesterday,” compared with the 36% experiencing stress who never email for work.
Time spent working remotely outside of working hours aligns similarly, with 47% of those who report working remotely at least seven hours per week having a lot of stress the previous day compared with 37% experiencing stress who reported no remote work time.
These data were collected from March 24 through April 10, 2014, as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index for a special Gallup study exploring the effects of mobile technology on politics, business, and well-being in the United States. Gallup interviewed 4,475 working U.S. adults, and the findings hold true after controlling for age, gender, income, education, race/ethnicity, region, marital status, and children in household.
Workers Who Use Mobile Technology Rate Their Lives Better
In seeming contrast to the relationship between the use of mobile technology for work and its relationship to elevated daily stress, workers who email or work remotely outside of normal working hours also rate their lives better than their counterparts who do not. As with stress, frequency of emailing outside of work and hours spent working remotely are closely linked to the percentage of respondents who are “thriving.”
Gallup classifies Americans as “thriving” according to how they rate their current and future lives on a ladder scale with steps numbered from 0 to 10 based on the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale. Those who rate their present life a 7 or higher and their life in five years an 8 or higher are classified as thriving.
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Dan Witters and Diana Liu