Millennials failing to switch off outside work

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With mobile phones now connecting everyone to the internet at all times, it’s now the norm for younger workers to check their work emails outside of working hours, according to research from Bupa.

While this might lead them to feel more productive, in the long run it may well lead to burnout or to health and wellbeing problems.

The study found that the average millennial first checks their email at 6.37am and clocks up more than 12 hours a day of work time.

The majority (82%) of millennials say they check their work emails “first thing in the morning and last thing at night” – while 40% even feel obliged to check and respond to work emails despite being off sick and third (32%) have the same feeling when on annual leave.

Meanwhile, 42% of those under-35 say that they would feel stressed if they were not able to access their emails, with a fifth (22%) of millennials feeling they would not seem committed to their job if they did not respond to emails outside of work hours, and a third (33%) believing that their career progression could be impacted.

Pablo Vandenabeele, clinical director for mental health at Bupa UK, said: “Down time from work is crucial to maintaining good mental health – as it gives both the mind and body the opportunity to reset and recover. With millennials dipping into work emails morning through to night, it’s clear they are not making enough time to ensure they remain mentally and physically healthy.

“The long-term pressure to respond to work emails at all times can lead to irritability, anxiety, depression and even more physical symptoms like aches, chest pains and stomach issues. Wellbeing should be a cornerstone of any workplace health policy and promoting the importance of switching off from work is a key part of that.”