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E-mailoholics, raise your hands. But only if you can quit typing long enough

Submitted by on Monday, 11 May 2009 No Comment

There are two types of people: Those who can leave work at work and those who are surrounded by it 24-7, minus a few hours for sleep.

A new study from Yahoo Research confirms that, no surprise, the trend holds for office email use, with workers falling neatly into two groups: Those who email from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and those who are plugged in from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.

The second type would need counseling if furloughed. One of the chief rules for not being paid for not working is “thou shalt not touch the office email.” A single day under that edict would send folks straight to the nearest methadone clinic.

The research also found that people tend to stay consistent over time, either always adhering to the clock or never acknowledging one. More research is needed, though, to see if different people within the groups behave differently. This study was conducted at universities, so authors suggested examining professors and students. In business settings, a logical breakdown might be supervisors and the supervised.

I can’t speak for every supervisor, but I can tell you why I was signed on to my work email at midnight many nights, aside from the fact that I moderated a blog site. The wee hours usually were the only time I could put together a thought uninterrupted by either a kid or a work crisis. Anything that required an answer more indepth than “OK” or “will do” got put off until then.

Come to think of it, that hasn’t changed. I’m not addicted. I’m overloaded.

And please, no one point out that denial is one sign of addiction.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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