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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Study: Cell Phones Upset Work/Life Balance

Feeling more stressed at home as well as at work? Cell phones may be partly to blame, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family.

In yet another example of how technological development outpaces human adaptation to it, the study found that easier communication afforded by cell phones blurs the boundaries between home and the workplace. People are more likely to get work-related calls after hours (usually in connection with an emergency or a difficult project), and parents often take calls from their kids at work (again, usually to report some kind of a problem). Women bear the brunt of this stress, as they are more likely than men to receive family-related calls at work, yet just as likely to receive work-related calls at home.

The author of the study, Noelle Chesley of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, recommends that parents take "on call" shifts during which they'd be available to take calls from children and other family members, so that one parent won't be overwhelmed with calls. Of course, this can't control calls from work to home, in which case employees may need to negotiate on-call agreements with their supervisors.

Source: MSNBC