Employees work extra hours on mobile email, calls

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

Nearly every worker has used a mobile device to answer calls and emails outside of the work day when at home or at a social gathering. Still, how commonplace is the practice?

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

At that rate, workers 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 those surveyed said they feel they have no choice but to put in the mobile overtime to meet customer demands. Half said they do such work in bed.

While the survey's findings might sound like mobile workers are overworked, Good Technology's John Herrema, senior vice president of corporate strategy, said 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 employees end up working more hours because of access to mobile devices, but they also appreciate a chance to get work done when and where they want, including on the road, in bed, or at a social event.

One-fourth of the respondents said the overtime work caused an occasional disagreement with a partner, while half reported no arguments from a spouse or partner over the overtime work.

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

The survey also found that 68% of workers check their work email before 8 a.m., and that 40% still check work email after 10 p.m. Also, 57% said they check work email on family outings and 38% check work emails while 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.

Read more about mobile and wireless in Computerworld's Mobile and Wireless Topic Center.

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