Stop Checking Your Emails After Work—Here’s Why

Man checking smartphone at late night inside bed with bright light from point of view.
Man checking smartphone at late night inside bed with bright light from point of view. Artur Debat / Getty Images

Scrolling through office messages at home is so routine you probably haven’t noticed it’s hurting your health and happiness—and your partner’s, too. Virginia Tech associate professor Bill Becker studied the after-work email habits of more than 100 people and found a direct correlation between expectations that employees be available on email and feelings of anxiety and stress.

 

“It doesn’t matter how many hours you spend emailing; it’s the feeling you must be available that affects your sense of well-being,” Becker says. It’s because it brings out your “work self”—the uber-competitive guy who’s always on edge. Talk to your boss about doing a check-in at night, and then resist until you hit your desk in the a.m.