I used to be one of those people who had my work email on my cell phone. I thought I’d be more productive at work if I always had access to my email, heard it ‘ping’ on my phone at all hours, where I would, of course, respond to it immediately. What amazing efficiency, I thought; what a dedicated employee, I thought.
It didn’t take long for me to figure out that it’s a really bad idea to have my work email always on, always with me. I didn’t have one of those positions that required I be available 24/7, so why did I think I needed to respond 24/7? I found myself responding to emails that could wait an hour, or two. Or a day, or two. And then I became programmed to look for new emails or make sure the email I sent actually got sent. A 2015 survey by the Future Work Centre of London revealed that “people who get their work email on their cell phones are more likely to feel frustrated and anxious” (Evans, 2016). Ya think?
The best thing happened when I switched phones, and then our email server at work changed, and I couldn’t get my work email on my new phone. I tried to make it work, then I gave up, and it was like a work weight had been lifted from my shoulders. It felt awesome, and I don’t miss it one bit.
So, now I get my USC emails on my phone, and I find myself checking them while I’m at work, and I respond throughout the day. Uh oh.
Evans, D. (2016, January 4). Take your work email off your phone right now. New York Magazine.