Is your inbox burning you out? Take heart and try not to open emails quite often to reduce stress.
According to researchers from University of British Columbia (UBC), easing up on email checking can help reduce psychological stress.
“Our findings showed that people felt less stressed when they checked their email less often,” said Kostadin Kushlev, PhD candidate at UBC’s department of Psychology.
During the study, 124 adults were instructed to limit checking email to three times daily for a week.
Others were told to check email as often as they could.
These instructions were then reversed for the participants during a subsequent week.
During the study period, participants also answered brief daily surveys, including information about their stress levels.
However, changing inbox behaviour may be easier said than done.
“Most participants found it quite difficult to check their email only a few times a day,” Kushlev said.
People find it difficult to resist the temptation of checking email and yet resisting this temptation reduces their stress, he found.
Organisations may help reduce employee stress by encouraging their workers to check their email in chunks rather than constantly responding to messages, the authors said.