Do you often scratch the email itch?

emailBy Kate Ashford | Forbes

If you’ve ever emailed your boss from a cozy spot in bed at 10 p.m. or squinted to spot new work messages on your smartphone from your beach chair, you’re probably a victim of a new term coined by two psychology researchers at Northern Illinois University: “telepressure.”

Telepressure is the itch to respond to electronic communication—emails, texts, voicemails—as fast as you can, so that you appear responsive and connected.

“Employees pick up on both subtle and not-so-subtle cues in the work environment that imply that fast response times are needed to be perceived as productive workers,” says Larissa Barber, a psychology professor at NIU and lead author of a new study on the subject. “This may leave employees feeling like they technically have the option of not being continuously accessible, but that unplugging—even for short periods of time—may be damaging to their careers.”


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