Sometimes I really do think that men have it easier, and a new study published recently in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior shows they certainly have an advantage over women when it comes to the combination of work, technology, and home.
If you're a woman with a smart phone, a job, and a family, feeling stressed out when work interferes with family life is only natural. But did you know that buzzing, that ringing, that blinking device you hold onto so dearly is actually causing you more stress?
The study, which included over 1,000 American workers, found that women feel 40% guiltier then men do when family life is interrupted by electronic devices. The fact that they're being notifying (read: distracted) by something work related can cause anxiety. So if your eye starts twitching, palm starts sweating, and head starts pounding every time your BlackBerry vibrates on your kitchen table, making that god awful sound ... you're not alone.
The study suggests that women may subconsciously hold onto the notion that a woman's place is in the home and caring for her children; when iDevices get in the way, it causes feelings of guilt and pressure.
Paul Glavin, a PhD candidate at the Univeristy of Toronto explains:
We examined the extent that work actually interfered, and our results were focused on controlling for all those factors. At the end of the day, the only thing left was guilt, and that's where the distress came in. We can only speculate about why.
Experts suggest women set boundaries when at home and only check work emails or return work calls during a specific time, then shut down the technology and focus on the family.
Is it just me, or is this study selling women a little short. I think we as a gender are amazing multi-taskers -- I mean, how else would our population continue if we weren't. While we may feel guiltier then men about tip tapping away on our smart phones, it doesn't mean we can't get it all done, or don't enjoy juggling, if not thriving, when balancing work and family. Maybe this study just shows that men need to step it up and share equal responsibility in the household so that women don't have to feel as guilty about answering that vibrating BlackBerry.
What do you think of the study?
Photo via ColumbusCameraOp/Flickr