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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Not Working at Work is Common

Celebrating Work by Not Working
By Mary Lorenz, CareerBuilder.com writer

Some people need their daily YouTube fix even more than they need their 10 a.m. coffee break. If you’re browsing the Web on company time looking for the latest in viral videos, you’re not alone. A new MSN-Zogby survey of 3,800 office employees nationwide reveals that engaging in non-work related activity at the office is far from uncommon. continue reading

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Emails stress out 1 in 3 at office

London, Aug. 13: Emails are causing unprecedented levels of stress among office workers as they struggle to cope with an unending tide of incoming messages. A team of researchers has found that one in three office workers who use computers regularly suffer from email stress.

The deluge of emails also affects the performance of people at work, researchers belonging to Glasgow and Paisley universities said. Computer scientist Karen Renaud of Glasgow University, with psychologist Judith Ramsay of Paisley University and her colleague Mario Hair, a statistician, surveyed 177 people, mainly academics and those involved in creative jobs, to see how they dealt with emails received at work, the Observer reported.

Pressure to check and respond quickly to emails makes some employees check their email inboxes up to 40 times an hour. The research team also found that office workers checked their emails more often than they admitted in a survey. Almost half of the 177 participants said they looked at their email more than once an hour, with 35 per cent claiming to check every 15 minutes, but monitoring equipment fitted to their computers showed it was more often.

The research revealed that 34 per cent of participants felt “stressed” by the sheer number of emails and the obligation to respond quickly, and a further 28 per cent were “driven” because they saw them as a source of pressure. The team characterised just 38 per cent as “relaxed” because they did not reply until a day or even a week later.

“Email is the thing that now causes us the most problems in our working lives. It’s an amazing tool, but it’s got out of hand. Email harries you. You want to know what’s in there, especially if it’s from a family member or friends, or your boss, so you break off what you are doing to read the email. The problem is that when you go back to what you were doing, you’ve lost your chain of thought and, of course, you are less productive.

People’s brains get tired from breaking off from something every few minutes to check emails. The more distracted you are by distractions, including email, then you are going to be more tired and less productive,” lead researcher Karen Renaud said. <source>

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