Checking Your Work Email on Holidays? You're Not Alone.
According to a new Mashable infographic (see below), 68 percent of American adults report checking their work email accounts during family holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Twenty-seven percent admit to checking it multiple times per day. Although checking work email can sometimes be a welcome distraction—to get out of an awkward conversation with Uncle Len, let’s say—it really shows that the majority of us cannot leave work at the office.
The growing presence of work smartphones no doubt takes the blame for employees’ constant connectedness: It’s impossible to ignore the chime or blinking light that indicates new messages on your phone. Thirty-seven percent of people say they feel annoyed, frustrated, or resentful after receiving work-related emails on holidays, and it’s no wonder—these days should be for spending time with family.
So how can you really leave the office at the office this holiday season? Here are some suggestions, whether you check work email on your computer or cell phone:
• Leave your phone in the car. You can’t be checking email if your phone isn’t in your back pocket.
• Turn off the message indications on your phone. Whether it’s a chime, a blink, or just a number on the screen, turn it off for the day. If your inbox looks empty, you’re less likely to open it.
• Shut down your computer and put it away. Many of us leave our computers idling on standby, which is bad for the environment and enables compulsive email checking. If you shut down your computer and put it away (in a drawer perhaps), it will be more of an annoyance to turn on. Plus, it’ll be out of sight and out of mind.
• Have some self-control! Easier said than done, but if you don’t want to be working on your holidays, try to control your compulsions and step away from your inbox. Email can wait one day. Trust us.