AFTER A LONG DAY at work, empoyees should be able to leave the office, head home and relax. But how many people actually go home and completely turn their work off in order to enjoy their home life? Technology has been an enormous benefit on our world – the agriculture industry, in particular, has advanced in breeding techniques and farming equipment. But how has this technology affected an employee’s work life balance? According to a 2012 survey by the Center for Creative Leadership, 60 percent of smartphone-using professionals kept in touch with work for a full 13.5 hours per day and spent five hours juggling their work email each weekend. Furthermore, 44 percent of working adults surveyed by the American Psychological Association said that they check work email daily while on vacation, and about 1 in 10 checked it hourly on vaca- tion. “It comes to no surprise that in the ‘always on’ culture in which we live, there is the workday, and then there is the after- workday,” says Liuba Belkin, associate professor of man- agement at Lehigh University. In a study entitled, “Exhausted, But Unable to Disconnect: The Impact of Email-Related Organizational Expectations on Work-Family Balance,” Belkin examined the relationship between mental health and answering emails while at home. “Just knowing there is an organizational expectation that employees will respond to email outside normal business hours creates anticipatory stress that negatively affects their perception of work-family balance,” Belkin says. “Simply put, they cannot mentally disconnect from work.” If employees fail to disconnect from work, their mental health can plummet. Stress will rise along with anxiety, and there’s even a possibility of depression occurring. “Almost everyone understands that if you engage in vigorous exercise, you need time to rest and recuperate before exercising again,” Belkin says. “The same is true with emotional and cognitive resources. Research has shown that people are more productive, happier and healthier when they are able to detach from work (both Putting work on hold seems irresponsible, even after hours. But for mental health, there must be a balance between life and work. Alex Martin THE RIGHT TO 14 / SEEDWORLD.COM JUNE 2018 DISCONNECT “As a farm, we need to run the most efficiently we can. How can we keep doing that if we ourselves are not working at peak performance?” — Kim Keller