After conducting a research study, a British occupational psychologist says constantly checking your BlackBerry or other PDA increases stress levels and decreases productivity. The study followed a group of employees, categorizing them as either high-frequency and low-frequency PDA users; high-frequency was defined as users who were constantly tethered to their devices; users were labeled low-frequency if they set aside specific times to check their email and respond to messages.
The study also found that high-frequency users also showed animosity toward their gadgets. The psychologist even mentioned one story he heard about a stressed-out user flushing their BlackBerry down the toilet. (Does that really happen?) He then says best way to remedy the burnout is for employers to encourage specific time limits for PDA usage and email responses to keep employees from experiencing tech burnout.
Surprised? I’m not, and I feel like we’ve heard this story before. But the constant reinforcement serves as a reminder to watch how much time you’re spending with your work outside of work. Perhaps a few smartphone-free hours can do all of us (and our sanity!) some good.