New debates are emerging about increased stress levels in our personal lives resulting from the use of smartphones. There may not be a great deal of scientific data yet, but several recent studies indicate we may not be able to “shut off” work when we get home due to the availability of information on our smartphones.
Arnold Bakker, a professor at Erasmus University, launched a study in 2012 that focused on companies that gave their employees phones to use. The implication was that the workers must be on-call 24 hours a day, which limits their ability to fully relax while at home.
“It seems difficult, if not impossible, for mobile users to maintain a satisfactory balance between their work and personal life,” said Bakker in a report published in Applied Psychology.
Michigan State University launched a similar study, which found workers who checked their phones for work reasons after 9:00 p.m. were more fatigued and less energetic throughout the day. This may come from the mental stimulation late at night.
Imperial College launched a three-year study this year to determine how much smartphones have impacted our attention spans. The study is the largest in the world to assess whether mobile devices have an impact on children’s cognitive development.
Do smartphones bring stress to the workplace? Evidence is certainly pointing in that direction. Nevertheless, it will take a little more research to officially determine whether this is a problem and come up with an effective solution.