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[STAY DISCONNECTED] Good leaders silence notifications, ignore emails after work

A recent study titled "The importance of leader recovery for leader identity and behavior" found that managers who disconnected from their jobs at home felt more refreshed the next day, identified as effective leaders and helped their employees stay on target better than bosses who spent their off hours worrying about work. Less-experienced leaders were especially prone to becoming ineffective if they spent their time focusing on their jobs at home.

Therefore, the key to effective leadership in the office might be a better work-life balance, something that is more achievable if you silence your notifications and ignore your email at the end of the workday, according to the study authors.

The researchers surveyed managers and their employees at US businesses in 2019 and 2022. They assessed leaders’ ability to disconnect from work when at home the night before and their level of energy and how strongly they identified as a leader in the morning at work. Employees rated their bosses on their ability to lead their teams.

"On nights when leaders were able to completely turn off and not think about work, they were more energized the next day, and they felt better connected to their leadership role at work. On those same days, their followers reported that these leaders were more effective in motivating them and in guiding their work," said Klodiana Lanaj, a professor at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business, who led the research.

"But on nights when leaders reported that they were thinking about the negative aspects of work, they couldn’t really recuperate their energy by the morning," she said. "They saw themselves as less leader-like and they weren’t as effective, as rated by their followers. My hope is that this study will give managers data to support their decision to be present at home and to disconnect from work."

To read the abstract, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology,  click here

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