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Technology extends the working day

July 2 2012 - Replying to emails and answering work calls at home means that the average UK employee is putting in an extra three weeks a year in overtime.

This finding comes from a survey of survey of 1,000 working UK adults was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of mobile security software company Good Technology. The survey found that:

  • 93% of respondents continued working after leaving the office
  • They averaged three hours and 31 minutes each week doing this
  • That is the equivalent of 23 extra working days a year

A half of those who were surveyed said they were simply trying to stay organized, but 20% wanted to impress the boss. In general, people are using mobile technology to mix work and personal life in ways - good and bad - we have never seen before.

According to Andy Jacques General Manager of EMEA Good Technology:

"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 considers that smartphones and tablets make it much easier to work on the move - at the school gate, on the train or in the queue at the coffee shop. This allows people to choose when and where to get things done and enables greater productivity than ever before.

"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."

More findings:

  • The average British employee checks their phone at 6:51 a.m.
  • 66% check work emails before 7.00 a.m.
  • 15% answer work emails after 10 p.m.
  • 65% do a final check of work emails before going to sleep
  • A third of people respond to work emails in bed
  • 61% read and reply to work emails while commuting
  • A third check work emails on Saturday morning
  • 29% check work emails at the dinner table
  • 16% replying to work emails when they are eating their evening meal
  • 38% think their job would be impossible without mobile email
  • 15% carry two phones - one for personal use, one for work

Andy Jacques concluded:

"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."

Internet Use At Work

Research in 2010 by, the operator of the UK's largest network of regional jobsites, found that more than half of British workers access social media websites while at work. Based on a survey of 1000 employees, the study found that of those acknowledging use of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, one-third report spending more than 30 minutes a day and nearly 6 per cent more than an hour.

The report suggests that the cost to the UK economy could be as much as £14billion in lost productivity, with SMEs likely to be most adversely affected.

The study found that many respondents were in denial about the negative impact on efficiency. Only 14 per cent admitted to being less productive as a result and 10 per cent claimed social media had made them more productive. There was widespread resistance to banning use of social media during working hours, with over two-thirds of respondents (68 per cent) supporting some form of access.

Lee Fayer, managing director of commented:

"Our results clearly show that UK workers are spending increased time whilst at work on social media networks, which, left unchecked, could have negative repercussions on the productivity of many companies across the country.

"Whilst we're certainly not kill-joys, people spending over an hour per day in work time on the likes of Facebook and Twitter are seriously hampering companies' efforts to boost productivity, which is more important than ever given the fragile state of our economy.

"Companies would do well to monitor use of social networking sites during work hours and ensure that their employees are not abusing their freedom of access to these sites."



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