Are 24/7 Communications Detrimental to Our Health?



Business today

In our highly competitive world businesses are using all the means to maintain competitive advantages. The main group of people that can suffer as a result is the staff.

Business owners and executives who influence the direction of the company and are rarely ‘off duty’ but maintaining a competitive edge will also impact on staff working conditions. Employees can often endure long working hours with weekend work frequently being a necessity.

The effects on the workforce

During the working hours, staff are supposed to be in constant communication with each other. Thanks to the advancement of technology, they can now communicate through various platforms such as social media, emails, messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Skype, SMS, mobile phone and landline calls.

As much as this may seem to be a positive, if not highly necessary set of basic business needs and will streamline the overall performance of the business, it comes with its disadvantages. Did you know that 24/7 communications can be detrimental to your health?

Several reports have proven beyond doubt that such activities have adverse effects on your physical and mental well-being and we examined the findings of a report entitled “Can work make you sick?

(http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02678373.2011.569175#.U1l2eVe9bc)

A relationship between “long working hours and stress” gave shocking findings on the effects of prolonged working hours to the stress levels. The study found out that stress in a business comes in different forms.

Workforce conflict

It is ridiculous to believe that all the interactions with your colleagues will go smoothly. It is quite usual to challenge another’s thinking and makes for healthy debate – usually. However, there are those instances that can also result in anger and frustration creating tension and stress which can carry over into so called relaxation time at home.

The types of disputes can include workload, remunerations, lack of cooperation, and conflict on respective roles; personal issues may also occur and all can be troubling and affect your life directly – especially if carried out by email, text etc which have no respect for time of day.

Workforce health

A poll published by NPR News revealed that 43% of staff admit that their stress is caused by long working hours and poor sleeping habits (https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/07/11/484917853/work-can-be-a-stressful-and-dangerous-place-for-many).
What should you expect when you are required to be at your workplace very early
and leave late?

Professor Robert J. Blendon of the Harvard Chan School and the director of this research study stated that “The first task of the American employers should be to reduce stress levels at their working place,”

One negative effect of long working hours and 24/7 communications is the loss of focus. Your ability to stay sharp on the job goes down, and you may find yourself making unexplained mistakes.

Those working in risky environments such as busy workshops can be easily injured by lack of concentration. Long working hours accompanied by inadequate safety measures are a recipe for high-stress levels. This is why, according to the same research, staff in retail shops and construction industries lead in having high stress levels of 26% and 23% respectively.

Summary

From this article, it is clear that staff in a lot of organizations are a frustrated lot. Apart from suffering from burnouts, they also go through depression and we look towards responsible employers to be ever more conscious of how 24/7 communication can be detrimental to your health and provide the necessary support and advice to employees.

Mayfair, we care.