7th of 7 Reasons Why Email on a Smartphone Might Not Be So Smart After All

Reason #7: It hinders work life balance

Having email delivered to your smartphone means you’re highly likely to be interrupted after hours and on weekends by work-related email - exactly when you are NOT in a good place to deal with them.

This is NOT good for either work or non-work activities.

It’s why VW in Germany stopped their Blackberry servers sending out email to mobile phones after close of business. No email can be transmitted from 30  minutes after work iuntil about 30 minutes before opening hours.

This came about as a result of union concerns about the pressure on workers to respond to email at any time of the day and their feeling that that employee work and home lives were becoming blurred.

Likewise, trade unions is some industries in France have successfully pushed for legislation to restrict employees from contacting their employers for a period of 11 hours each day (from 7pm to 6am).

The benefits are not only for employees - it can be a smart move by employers too. A police sergeant in Chicago sued for overtime pay for having to use his BlackBerry while off-duty!

Will Hutton, chair of the Big Innovation Centre at The Work Foundation says “It's bad for the individual worker's performance being online and available 24-7. You do need downtime, you do need periods in which you can actually reflect on something without needing instantaneously to give a reaction."

Employees find it ever harder to distinguish between “on-time” and “off-time”—and indeed between real work and make-work. Many executives are now laboring through two overlapping workdays: a formal one full of meetings and an informal one spent trying to keep up with the torrent of e-mails and messages. None of this is good for people's marriages or mental health.

While eliminating email from your smartphone may not reduce the volume of email you receive, it will reduce it’s impact on your non-work hours.

How about you? Would you be prepared to disable email on your smartphone on a trial basis for a week to see 'first hand' what difference it makes?


All the best!