S Kalyana Ramanathan / London September 10, 2009
A recent survey has revealed that a little over a third of Britons are slaves to their e-mail enabled cellphones. Further, one in five of 5 BlackBerry and iPhone users say they spend a minimum of 10 extra unpaid hours every week making calls, responding to emails and sorting work problems in the evenings and at the weekends, and nearly a fourth of those surveyed showed they go to sleep with their mobile phone beside the bed.
The study of 1,226 British workers by mobile phone price comparison website, Rightmobilephone.co.u, has found that one in three admit to working out of office hours on a weekly basis; replying to emails via theirBlackBerry and making urgent calls.
Despite that, 43 per cent consider their BlackBerry to have made their lives less stressful and 28 per cent prefer to stay connected with the office and their emails.
Almost 20 per cent now feel pressured to respond to client and colleague e-mails out of office hours and 35 per cent say they have had their evening or weekend ruined because of reading an email from an annoyed or demanding client.
The Co-Managing Director of Rightmobilephone.co.uk, Neil McHugh, said: "The problems start when clients and management expect emails to be dealt with at the weekends and when alerts are going off through the night, with various problems that need to be sorted. A day out of the office no longer has to mean a day out of the loop; people can now work remotely and keep up to date with all emails and enjoy more flexibility and freedom.”
The survey also found that for 53 per cent of people, their mobile phone is one of the first things they see in the morning. A fourth of the people surveyed check their emails via theirBlackBerry before they leave for the office and 14 per cent have already read and replied to emails before they even officially start their working day!
The study also revealed that 18 per cent of people do not put their 'Out of Office' sign on when they are off work, as they know they will still be contactable via their mobile even if on holiday.
Unsurprisingly, more than a third say their family members would prefer them to leave their BlackBerry device off when not at work and instead devote time to them.
“Family time is however extremely important and even though I fully understand the urge to check my emails in the morning, perhaps our loved ones should be the first people to get our attention,” said McHugh.