You’ve Got (E)-Mail

123982208Can’t stop checking your e-mail? Feel phantom vibrations even when your phone isn’t in your pocket? You aren’t alone. Occupational psychologist Emma Russell has released new research that indicates workers obsessed with checking e-mail may actually be damaging their mental health.

Dr. Russell, of London’s Kingston University, analyzed the e-mail of employees across many different types of companies to see which habits had positive or negative influences on their work lives. Many of the habits were thought to be positive traits by the employees, yet had negative effects, as well.

“This research reminds us that even though we think we are using strategies for dealing with our e-mail at work, many of them can be detrimental to other goals and the people we work with,” said Dr. Russell, who presented her Seven Deadly E-mail Sins at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference. According to Dr. Russell, the Seven Deadly E-mail Sins, when used in moderation, are fine, but can have a negative impact if they are not handled correctly. For example, while workers may check e-mail outside of business hours to stay on top of work, it may also mean they have trouble switching between work and home life. While responding immediately to e-mails may show concern and interest, it may take the sender away from other tasks needing concentration.

The seven sins include: ping pong (constant e-mails back and forth, creating long chains), e-mailing outside of work hours, e-mailing around others, ignoring e-mails, requesting read receipts, responding immediately to an e-mail alert, and sending automated replies.

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