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Video meetings, texting took toll on working moms during Covid: Study

 
New York, Nov 20 (IANS) Covid-19 tech tools for work-from-home, including video meetings and texting, designed to make remote work easier have added to the stress and exacerbated the mental health toll on burnt-out moms trying to hold everything together, finds a study.

The study 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 answer to alleviating stress might be supporting the use of asynchronous communication, like e-mail, compared to synchronous forms, like video chats and texting, to create the flexibility needed to better balance work and home," said lead researcher Natalie Pennington from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

"When real-time communication is needed, phone calls may be better suited to allow for multi-tasking," Pennington added.

For the study, published in the journal Communication Reports, the research team surveyed 540 adults in May 2020 who had worked for up to 10 weeks remotely.

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.

Researchers hypothesise 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.

--IANS
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