Negative digital communication can cause employees more distress than unpleasant oral interactions. A recent study published in The Journal of Occupational Health Psychology examines the effect of active and passive rudeness on workers’ well-being and productivity. Two studies led by Illinois researchers caution against revisiting the securely stored communication because of the ways it adversely affects sleep cycles and work-life balance.
The best option is to unplug from work after-hours. Whenever possible, managers also should set clear and reasonable expectations regarding email communications.
It should be noted that efforts to address email rudeness should not be interpreted as the same as creating pressure for employees and managers to always check their email and respond to emails (i.e., telepressure),” Yuan concluded. “On the contrary, setting clear and reasonable communications norms can prove effective in addressing both.
What can you do to make email interactions more positive? Re-read the correspondence to which you are replying to make sure you’ve addressed all queries. Provide positive feedback as well as constructive criticism. Don’t leave your receiver to interpret whether you’re ignoring a request or just plain forgetting.