Employees work extra hours on mobile email, calls

In survey, half say they answer emails and calls in bed from smartphones and mobile devices

Many people have used mobile devices to answer work-related calls and emails while they're at home or at social gatherings. Still, how commonplace is the practice?

A new survey of 1,000 U.S. workers found that people spend an average of seven extra hours a week -- almost another full day of work -- answering calls and email on a mobile device outside of regular working hours.

That means some people are spending nearly 30 hours more a month, or 360 extra hours a year, on calls and emails, according to the poll commissioned by Good Technology, a mobile device management software maker.

Nearly half of the people surveyed said that they feel they have no choice but to put in the mobile overtime to meet customer demands. Half of the respondents said they do such work in bed.

While the survey's findings seem to indicate that mobile professionals are overworked, Good Technology's senior vice president of corporate strategy, John Herrema, said that, from an IT perspective, the findings show that secure access to corporate email and mobile apps has become a "must-have" instead of a "nice to have" for nearly all companies.

Herrema added that while people may end up working more hours because they have mobile access to their work systems, they also appreciate the fact that they're able to get work done when and where they want -- whether they're on the road, in bed or at a social event.

One-fourth of the respondents said that their overtime work had been the cause of an occasional disagreement with a partner, but half reported that they had not argued with a spouse or partner about their after-hours work.

Good hired OnePoll to conduct the online survey from May 18 to 28.

The survey also found that 68% of workers check their work email before 8 a.m., and that 40% check work email after 10 p.m. Moreover, 57% of the respondents said that they check work email during family outings and 38% said they check work email at the dinner table.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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