Survey highlights ‘always on’ workers

The average British worker now puts in more than three weeks of overtime a year – just by answering calls and emails at home, according to a new study.

In a survey of UK working adults sponsored by Good Technology 93 per cent of people continue working when they have left the office – for a total of three hours and 31 minutes each week. That adds up to 15 hours a month or 183 hours a year – the equivalent of 23 extra working days a year.

Half do it to stay organised, but 20 per cent want to impress the boss by putting in the extra hours. A further 37 per cent reply to work emails in bed to keep on top of things. But the survey shows they are also using their mobiles to mix work and their personal life in ways never seen before.

Some 38 per cent of the 1,000 randomly selected workers polled believe their job would now be impossible
without mobile access to work email. Most people are consolidating their devices and many use the same phone for personal and work use – only 15 per cent of people are carrying separate personal and work phones.

Andy Jacques General Manager of EMEA for mobile security software company Good Technology, says: ”There was a time when it was difficult to continue working outside of the office without carrying a laptop. But with today’s always on’ society, people are pretty much working from the moment they wake up until the moment they fall asleep. While most of our customers believe their employees do work more hours as a result of this accessibility, they also appreciate and welcome the enhanced work-life balance that comes when employees have more freedom and choice as to where and when they get their work done.

He continued: ”Today, many businesses are allowing employees to use their personal phones for work. In fact, 42 per cent of the people we surveyed are using the same phone for work and personal activity, which means that they are now carrying around not only sensitive corporate information, but irreplaceable personal data on the same device.”

The study also revealed:

– 66 per cent of people check their work emails before 7.00 a.m.
– The average UK worker checks their phone at 6:51 a.m.
– More than a third of people confess that they respond to work mails from bed
– 61 per cent use their commute to read and reply to work emails
– The work day is getting longer – 15 per cent still respond to work email after 10 pm
– 65 per cent don’t go to sleep until they’ve had a final check of work emails
– 33 per cent check work emails on Saturday morning
– 29 per cent routinely check work emails whilst at the dinner table; another 16 per cent report actually replying to work emails during their evening meal
– 38 per cent now think their job would be impossible without mobile email
– 15 per cent of UK workers carry two phones – one for work, one for personal use
– 42 per cent use the same device for both work and personal activity

Andy Jacques added: “This research clearly highlights just how important smartphones and tablets are becoming to the UK workforce. Employees are increasingly needed to be able to access company email wherever they are, on whatever device they choose and at any time. The challenge to IT departments is to ensure that workers can do this easily without putting company information at risk.”

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