Mixing work and personal life may lead to exhaustion: study
Employees who did not organise a clear separation between work and free time were less likely to participate in relaxing activities.
Blurring the boundaries between work and personal life can lower peoples sense of well-being and lead to exhaustion, a study warns.
"Employees who integrated work into their non-work life reported being more exhausted because they recovered less," said Ariane Wepfer, from the University of Zurich in Switzerland.
"This lack of recovery activities furthermore explains why people who integrate their work into the rest of their lives have a lower sense of well-being," Wepfer said.
For the study published in the Journal of Business and Psychology, researchers recruited 1916 employees from a broad range of sectors to take part in an online study.
Most were married (70.3 per cent) and their average age was 42.3 years. Half of the participants (50.1 per cent) worked 40 hours or more per week, while 55.8 per cent were men.
They were asked how well they were able to manage the boundaries between their work and non-work lives. For instance, how often they took work home, how often they worked on weekends and how often they thought about work during their time off.
The participants also indicated whether they made time to relax after work to socialise or to participate in sports and other hobbies, and how diligently they made sure that their work did not interfere with their private lives.
To measure a persons well-being, the researchers considered participants sense of physical and emotional exhaustion as well as their sense of balance between work and non-work.
They found that employees who did not organise a clear separation between work and free time were less likely to participate in activities that could help them relax and recover from career demands.
The participants were therefore more exhausted and experienced a lower sense of balance and well-being in the different key aspects of their lives.