It’s no secret that being a work-from-home mom during the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic was a drag. And those tech tools – video meetings and texting – designed to make remote work easier? They just added to the stress and exacerbated the mental health toll on burnt out moms trying to hold everything together.
That’s one major takeaway from a study published this week in the journal Communication Reports. Researchers surveyed 540 adults in May 2020 who had worked for up to 10 weeks remotely, and found that stress levels among women with children skyrocketed -; likely because blurred work-life balance boundaries meant they took on the brunt of juggling homeschooling and household chores alongside professional duties.
The results also reveal that video chats and texts tended to stress out remote workers, regardless of parental status and other factors including age, race, and education. Why? Researchers hypothesize that the extra visual cues needed to get points across via a video screen and expectations of immediacy when replying to texts contributed to fatigue. For working mothers, these two communication methods were especially burdensome because they hindered the ability to multitask.
The findings raise questions about the future of remote work and ways to preserve employees’ mental health, said lead researcher and UNLV communication studies professor Natalie Pennington.
We did find stress levels progressively increased for women with more children, which really points to the juggling act -; you’re trying to keep track of multiple kids and the job. The answer to alleviating stress might be supporting the use of asynchronous communication, like email, compared to synchronous forms, like video chats and texting, to create the flexibility needed to better balance work and home. When real-time communication is needed, phone calls may be better suited to allow for multi-tasking.”
Natalie Pennington, UNLV communication studies professor
The study was conducted in collaboration with Michigan State University associate professor Amanda Holmstrom and University of Kansas professor Jeff Hall.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Pennington, N., et al. (2021) The Toll of Technology while Working from Home during COVID-19. Communication Reports. doi.org/10.1080/08934215.2021.1993947.
Posted in: Medical Research News | Women's Health News | Healthcare News
Tags: Children, Education, Fatigue, Mental Health, Pandemic, Research, Stress
Cancel reply to comment
Professor Weibke Arlt
In this interview, News-Medical speaks to Professor Weibke Arlt about her recent research into how the contraceptive pill affects type 2 diabetes in women with PCOS.
Indrani Chakraborty, Senior Scientist, Gator Bio
In this interview, News-Medical talks to Indrani Chakraborty from GatorBio about how they have achieved accurate and reliable quantitation of AAV serotypes.
Dr. Wael Yared and Dr. Frank Buescher
In this interview, News-Medical talks to Frank Buescher and Wael Yared about the increasing digitalization of the life sciences and diagnostics sectors and the possibilities this entails.
News-Medical.Net provides this medical information service in accordance with these terms and conditions. Please note that medical information found on this website is designed to support, not to replace the relationship between patient and physician/doctor and the medical advice they may provide.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.
News-Medical.net – An AZoNetwork Site
Owned and operated by AZoNetwork, © 2000-2021