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Email ‘vacations’ decrease stress, increase concentration, researchers say. Being cut off from work email significantly reduces stress and allows employees to focus far better, according to a new study

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Email ‘vacations’ decrease stress, increase concentration, researchers say

Being cut off from work email significantly reduces stress and allows employees to focus far better, according to a new study.

Heart rate monitors were attached to computer users in a suburban office setting, while software sensors detected how often they switched windows. 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,”
  • Those with no email reported feeling better able to do their jobs and stay on task, with fewer stressful and time-wasting interruptions.
  • Measurements bore that out, Mark said. People with email switched windows an average of 37 times per hour. Those without changed screens half as often – about 18 times in an hour.

She said the findings could be useful for boosting productivity and suggested that controlling email login times, batching messages or other strategies might be helpful. “Email vacations on the job may be a good idea,” she noted. “We need to experiment with that.”

Mark said it was hard to recruit volunteers for the study, but “participants loved being without email, especially if their manager said it was OK. In general, they were much happier to interact in person.”

Other research has shown that people with steady “high alert” heart rates have more cortisol, a hormone linked to stress. Stress on the job, in turn, has been linked to a variety of health problems.

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Written by Rich and Co.

May 14, 2012 at 2:25 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. […] Email ‘vacations’ decrease stress, increase concentration, researchers say. Being cut of… (richandco.wordpress.com) […]


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