#7 impact of email overload on psychological health in the workplace

Self Esteem

When individuals feel overloaded by email a lack of capacity to deal with email effectively with all its demands, it has a negative impact on their self-esteem and confidence.

It appears then that if workers believe that they can deal with their email, and see it as central to their work, they are more likely to engage strategies to help them feel in control and less likely to perceive work email as problematic.

However, perceptions of email activity and the reality reported with objective measures do not always align and these perceptions of strain and overload are more important than any objective measurements because it is how one perceives threats to well-being that results in the actual experience of stress and strain.

For example, when asked to estimate how often they checked their email and compared this with objectively derived software monitoring figures, workers predicted they checked email around once every hour, when in fact it was more like once every five minutes. This demonstrates a misalignment of objective measures of physiological strain with well-being.

Steuart Snooks