People do not like receiving email, texts after their working hours are over, claims a new study.
Lead author Marcus Butts, associate professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, along with his colleagues, surveyed 341 working adults over a seven-day period to track their feelings when they opened a work email away from the office. They used Facebook, Linked In and Twitter contacts to build their sample pool.
Butts said people became angry when they received a work email or text after they had gone home and that communication was negatively worded or required a lot of the person's time. Also, the people who tried to separate work from their personal life experienced more work-life interference. The after-hours emails really affected those workers' personal lives.
Overall, Butts said two major categories of workers were identified: the segmentors and the integrators, where the segmentors wanted to keep their personal and work lives separate and the integrators were the participants who wanted to know what was going on at work when they received an email or text. They got angry as well when receiving communications but it didn't interfere with their personal lives.
Rachel Croson, dean of the College of Business, said the study is important because electronic communications have become a fabric of everyone's life, and it informed leaders not just whether and when, but also how to communicate with employees.
The study is published in the Academy of Management Journal.