I am guilty as charged. I feel such an overwhelming amount of anxiety if I get a work email or a text from a co-worker during my off time and don’t reply to it immediately.

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I envy people who can shut off their devices and completely walk away from work when they’re not working – like when they’re on vacation. Do you feel this way, too?

If I get a work email and don’t reply right away, I can’t even enjoy my time off because I’m flooded with worry that something might slip through the cracks or even worse, that someone I work with will question my job dedication.

If you feel the same, know that we are not alone and honestly, it’s a bit worrisome that (mostly) out of fear that we’ll be viewed as not dedicated enough, Americans are obsessed with working, even on our deserved time off.

According to Preply, 55 percent of Americans say that they have some sort of a work chat on their personal phone which is completely believable as many businesses rolled out apps during the pandemic so they could easily communicate with employees whenever and wherever.

52 percent of Americans who have work chat on their personal phone say that they keep their chat push notifications active so they don’t ever miss anything.

Like me (and perhaps you), 29 percent of Americans say that they feel an obligation to reply to work messages outside of work hours and on the other side, 53 percent of Americans say that even if a co-worker has an away or busy message set, they will still try to contact them.

Is the race to be the best, to generate the most revenue, to outperform everyone else really led us to this – not allowing ourselves the chance to recharge? Absolutely. Have we overstepped a boundary when it comes to our co-workers by laying things on them when we know they’re not supposed to be working? Absolutely.

It’s sad that we’ve come to this and I don’t know that we’ll ever go back to a way of life when we completely unplug and don’t feel guilty for doing so, but I truly hope someday we do because this being “on” all the time is really impacting our mental health and relationships and something has to give.

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