Anyone who works in a job where almost all contact is done through emails will know that opening your inbox is the most fear-inducing moment of your day.
As it turns out, there's a good reason for thatand it'[s because emails make you more stressed. A recent study by Kostadin Kushlev and Elizabeth Dunn of the University of British Columbia for Computers in Human Behavior showed that stress levels were lowered by checking your emails less frequently.
Two groups were made for the experiment to support the research, one of which was actively encouraged to check their mail as much as possible, while the other group were told to turn off all notifications, close their email and only check it three times per day.
The result was that the second group were less stressed in general, and the first group didn't perceive themselves as being any more productive than their non-email-checking counterparts. "Limiting the number of times people checked their email per day lessened tension during a particularly important activity and lowered overall day-to-day stress".
However, there are a few caveats to go with the research, namely to do with human error. According to The Science of Us, the baseline level of email checks per day was 15.5, but neither group stuck to that. Those were supposed to be taking it easy on the emails were checking 4.5 times a day instead of 3 while the unlimited group checked theirs less than usual (12.5 times per day), possibly affected by the conditions of the experiment.
Therefore, if people just did what they were told, the experiment might have shown a greater difference between the two groups not only in terms of stress, but also in terms of productivity. We'll never know now though, will we?