Managing Work-Related Issues at Home Distresses Women More Than Men
A study appearing in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior reports the ill-effects of communication technologies on women employees. Communication technology is seen as a way to balance work and family life, allowing workers to be at home and stay connected. But researchers from the University of Toronto have a different story to tell. They found that female employees who were frequently contacted by co-workers, superiors or clients outside the workplace report higher psychological distress than male employees with the same number of outside work contacts.
The researchers used data collected from a national survey of American workers. Participants were asked how many times they were contacted through e-mail or text messages outside the workplace. It was noticed that women experience more guilt when having to manage these work issues at home, while men are less likely to feel guilty for the same amount of work from home.
According to Paul Glavin, lead author of the study, it was once thought that women are more distressed by work contact if it interfered with their family responsibilities. But that does not seem to be true. Women can keep a healthy balance between work and home as efficiently as men. However, it is guilt that concerns women more than men. Women see themselves in a negative way when they to bring work home, in this case through communication technology designed to make our work lives easier.