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Employers must do more to help staff switch off at home, says professor
UK BUSINESSES need to do more to encourage employees to switch off outside working hours, a psychologist from the University of Bedfordshire has told a national conference.
Speaking at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology annual conference in Liverpool and published in Science Daily, Professor Gail Kinman (pictured) presented findings from a survey that revealed that out of nearly 400 organisations, less than half provided their employees with guidance on how to switch off.
More than half also had no formal policies in place to help their employees balance work demands with personal life in general.
While 24% of those surveyed acknowledged that using devices such as smartphones could improve communication at work and boost productivity, the negative effects of technology on relationships at work (21%) and well-being (27%) were also highlighted.
Prof Kinman said: “Our findings clearly show that organisations are not helping their staff accommodate to the changing world of work which is likely to have a negative impact on their wellbeing, their work-life balance and their effectiveness.
“Many individuals we surveyed clearly feel under great pressure not to switch off, leading to intense pressure, poorer performance and worry about what the immediate future holds.
“It is time to take a more proactive approach to helping employees and organisations become more ‘e-resilient’ and to manage technology in a more healthy and sustainable way.”
Professor Kinman carried out the survey with Dr Almuth McDowall (Birkbeck, University of London).
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