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Top 14 of 2014: Hanging up and powering down – on the workplace

December 30, 2014

Telepressure!As 2014 draws to a close, NIU Today offers a look back at 14 of the top stories from the year.

No. 1

Everyone with mobile devices connected to their places of employment read something in November worth showing the boss.

NIU psychology researchers published their study on “workplace telepressure,” a term they coined to define an urge to quickly respond to emails, texts and voicemails – regardless of whatever else is happening or whether one is even “at work.”

This preoccupation with responding right away to message-based technologies can have a dark side, the researchers say.

“Workers who indicate they feel high levels of telepressure are more likely to report burnout, a feeling of being unfocused, health-related absenteeism and diminished sleep quality,” said NIU psychology professor Larissa Barber, lead author of a new study on workplace telepressure and its implications, published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

“If they give in to their responsive urges,” added NIU psychology professor Alecia Santuzzi, the study’s co-author, “telepressured employees might unknowingly interfere with their work tasks.”

The study earned headlines around the world.