New report shows that evening emails ‘overwhelm’ working parents leaving them unable to switch off

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  • A new report has revealed that more parents feel pressured to check their work emails in the evening, restricting their ability to ‘switch off’.

    According to the 2020 Modern Families Index, 44 per cent of working parents check their emails or do work at night after they’ve gone home from the office.

    Three quarters of those surveyed said that they’d didn’t have a choice over whether to check their emails, and this figure has increased since the study was carried out last year. More than half said that doing work in the evening or checking emails has led to arguments with their children or partner.

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    The report said the ability for working parents to ‘switch off’ from their work has been hindered by the rise by the changing ways in which we communicate at work, such as emails, messaging services, and chat groups on our phones. Almost half of those surveyed said that they thought the boundaries between home and the workplace had become blurred recently, as a result of an almost constant ability to communicate.

    However, more people thought that their boss was taking notice of the need for a proper work-life balance. 50 per cent of those asked said their employer genuinely cared about getting that balance right.

    working parents

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    In addition to this, 55 per cent of employees felt confident discussing family-related issues with their employer, which is up from 47 per cent in 2015.

    Half of those able to work from home said that it probably increased the hours of work they put in, which reflects the feeling that the boundary between work and home has blurred.

    The report also stated that childcare is an ongoing concern for parents, with almost three quarters expressing worries about it. Nearly two thirds added that they needed flexibility most when their children were in pre-school.

    This study quizzed more than 3,000 parents, with 60 per cent saying that working extra hours was the only way to deal with their workload.

    Working Families, the charity behind the report commented on the findings. Founder Jane van Zyl said, “The research makes clear that jobs need to be ‘human-sized’”.