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Americans Working More, But On Their Own Schedule

Americans Working More, But On Their Own Schedule

Work and personal life blend as people stay in the loop while on the go

American puts in more than a month and a half of overtime a year – just by answering calls and emails at home.

In a survey of U.S. working adults sponsored by Good Technology, more than 80 percent of people continue working when they have left the office – for an average of seven extra hours each week – almost another full day of work. That’s a total of close to 30 hours a month or 365 extra hours every year. They’re also using their cell phones to mix work and their personal life in ways never seen before.

While 60 percent do it simply to stay organized, almost half feel they have no choice because their customers demand quick replies. Thirty-one percent of respondents admit to continuing to work at home as they find it hard to ‘switch off.’ Half of Americans can’t even put their phone down while in bed, as they read or respond to work emails after climbing under the covers.

This overtime has become so commonplace that only a quarter of the 1,000 workers polled said it caused an occasional disagreement with their partner. In what points to changing attitudes to mobile work, well over half surveyed reported no arguments whatsoever from their spouse or significant other over answering email or making work calls at home.

John Herrema, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy for mobile security software company Good Technology, says: “In today’s ‘always on’ mobile environment, secure access to corporate email and apps is a ‘must have’ vs. a ‘nice to have’ for nearly all companies. 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 to get work done whenever and wherever they need to —whether that’s in the office, on the road, or while sitting in the stands at a child’s baseball game.”

“When it comes to supporting a ‘bring your own device’ environment, it’s important to take an approach that ensures data security without compromising the employee’s privacy or personal experiences. By shifting their management focus from ‘devices’ to ‘apps’ and ‘data’, enterprises can allow employees to get work done on the go whenever they want, and still keep personal information private, separate and safe.”

The study also revealed:

  • 68 percent of people check their work emails before 8 a.m.
  • The average American first checks their phone around 7:09 a.m.
  • 50 percent check their work email while still in bed
  • The work day is growing – 40 percent still do work email after 10 p.m.
  • 69 percent will not go to sleep without checking their work email
  • 57 percent check work emails on family outings
  • 38 percent routinely check work emails while at the dinner table

Methodology: The survey of 1,000 US adults was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Good Technology between 18th and 28th of May 2012.

Share some of the most unusual places you have responded to a work email from via comments below!

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  1. With the availability of the latest technology, gadgets and the internet checking emails can be done anywhere at any given time.

  2. I’m addicted to my iPhone for a variety of work related Email addresses all hours of the day and night. I also love it to read several newspapers each day.

    Having the mobile web application has actually saved time for me in the long run. Working on the go is convenient and effective for my lifestyle.

  3. I agree with David. However, I find if I can finish a few things before going to bed, I rest better. Also, it clears up things I have to do the next day.

  4. These statistics do not surprise me, based upon my personal experience and work habits :). The United States is a society that embraces the entrepreneurial spirit and dedicated work ethic. That said, there is a time and a place to turn off our iPhones, Blackberries, iPads and say, “It’s time to tuck my kids (and spouse) into bed, finish the chapter of this great book and prepare for a new day.” A balanced life requires a balanced mixture of work, play and contemplation.

  5. No doubt we as a society have always been committed to our careers and graciously welcome the rapid advancement of technology that allows us to virtually work from anywhere, but this study does raise some interest in regards to a healthy “balance.” Although accessibility continues to advance at neck-breaking speed, one skill remains constant, prioritizing: “Dinner Table, Kids Baseball game, Family Outings…I am guilty as anyone, but possibly consider and measure the true importance.

  6. Americans have also been independent and now this behavior is flowing into the workplace. Plus, it shows that Americans continue to be hardworkers.

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