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We have previously discussed the benefits of teleworking to both the employer and the employee, and while the benefits of, for instance, reducing the home-office commute and increasing workforce participation, are hard to ignore, there are some downsides that could adversely affect your work-life balance.
High-speed internet, smart phones, tablet devices and cloud accounting software like MYOB Account Right Live may make it so much easier to connect with work from the comfort of your own home, but it’s also making it increasingly difficult to switch off.
Study Proves We Work More from Home
A study conducted by Dr Carolyn Axtell, a senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield in the UK, found that many workers often worked an additional 15-20 hours per week merely because they could remotely access their work from home.
In addition to the self-reported “voluntary” additional work hours, in a separate study carried out by the University of Toronto, workers also reported that it was often expected of them to check emails, take calls and log into work outside of office hours, including when on holidays.
But the additional work hours and interruption to workers’ recreation time, according to Dr Axtell, can significantly impact a person’s health as well as their relationships with friends and family.
Poorer quality of sleep and psychological stress brought on by an increase in phone calls, emails and texts out of work hours were among workers’ main complaints, while Dr Axtell also found many employees felt they became less productive working from home.
Productivity levels, according to Dr Axtell, tend to level off among employees that are working long hours and, over time, even drop when tiredness and stress impairs performance.
You need to take time out
To combat stress and losses in productivity, managers and employees alike, need to implement protocols to enable teleworkers to switch off.
Working to time—rather than task, taking regular breaks, sticking to a work routine and maintaining usual sleep and work patterns are among the top tips teleworkers can adopt to avoid overwork. By switching off gadgets at the end of the day and notifying colleagues, managers and clients of when you are and are not available will ensure you’re not stressing about returning an email during your holiday!
Want to work hard, start a business
I’ve written several blog posts about starting a business and in particular starting a bookkeeping business (because a large number of our students enrol into our MYOB Training Courses) and the fact that we are so well connected to the Internet and each other almost makes us work as though we own the business.
If you are looking to start your own business or want to learn the skills required to manage a small business remember that we have just launched our Cert IV in Small Business Management. Enrol today and enjoy a massive discount for a limited time only.
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