After-Hours Intrusions Increase Employee Stress, Depression

after-hours intrusions

With technology like smartphones being so ubiquitous and more workplaces implementing bring-your-own-device policies, many employees feel compelled to bring work home with them. The rise of work-from-home and hybrid schedules have further blurred the lines between work time and leisure hours, harming people’s mental well-being.

How After-Hours Intrusions Can Be Harmful

More employers should embrace the opportunity to prioritize work-life balance, especially those who lead remote and hybrid teams. Still, many bosses don’t think twice about the potential adverse effects of expecting their colleagues to reply to emails and texts on evenings or weekends. In workplace cultures where constant connectivity is the norm, employees are more likely to experience burnout and low morale.

In a recent study, researchers surveyed nearly 900 Americans across various sectors to determine the impact of after-work intrusions like late-night emails or text messages. Many workers said being available to respond to requests at all hours was adversely affecting their mental health and cutting into their available time to spend relaxing with family and friends.

The study’s authors recommend that employers and employees must establish clear-cut professional boundaries, with dedicated leisure time to switch off the stressors of work and mentally recharge. Without these limitations in place, people can suffer from chronic stress symptoms like tension headaches, insomnia, fatigue and depression.

What Is Work Burnout?

Many professionals are proud of their career accomplishments and derive a significant amount of their self-worth from their ability to outperform their peers. Still, a work culture or personal ethos that perpetuates logging on after hours can spark a cycle of negativity. You may reach a point where you dread going to work, are continually exhausted and no longer gain any satisfaction from what you’re doing. These are all signs of work burnout – a reaction to prolonged stress.

While people in high-pressure jobs who work more than 40 hours a week are particularly vulnerable to burnout, anyone can start experiencing symptoms like these:

  • Frequent headaches and stomachaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Getting sick more often
  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Feeling worthless
  • Cynicism or a lack of enthusiasm for your job
  • Finding excuses to miss work
  • Being irritable toward your colleagues and loved ones
  • Substance abuse

Professional Addiction and Behavioral Health Treatment

Providence Treatment is a premier, accredited and licensed center for professionals who need discreet substance use and behavioral health treatment. Our programming prepares clients for seamless reintegration into their careers. 

Providence Treatment’s highly qualified physicians and staff members prioritize improving the lives of professionals and their families with evidence-based and scientifically validated practices. Our integrative care model combines biopsychosocial best practices with spirituality, providing our clients with the tools needed to sustain long-term sobriety. To learn more about comprehensive, transformative treatment for high-achieving professionals, reach out to us today.

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