Most users work an extra day per week after hours

While most users clamor for companies to adopt BYOD programs so they can use their personal smartphones for work, all that mobility and connectivity may be to blame for much of the extra time most Americans spend working while they’re out of the office. 

Mobile devices have made it easier for employees to stay connected and get things done wherever they are. They’ve also made it harder to step away from their work, according to a recent survey from by Good Technology.

Among the 1,000 U.S. workers surveyed, 80% of people say they continue checking emails or doing other work after they leave the office. While 60% do it to stay organized, 50% do so because they feel they have no choice — they say that customers, co-workers or managers demand quick replies at all times.

Half of the people surveyed even admitted to checking email while in bed. That means both in the early morning (68% check email before 8 AM) and late at night (40% do so after 10 PM).

Respondents also said they have checked email or done other work:

  • During family outings (57%), and
  • At the dinner table (38%).

All that extra time adds up quickly. On average, employees are putting in an extra seven hours per week outside of the office. That equals nearly 30 hours per month and more than 45 additional eight-hour work days per year.

What do these results mean for organizations? From the tech side, this data highlights the increasing importance of smartphones and other mobile devices to most businesses. Employees feel the need to stay connected, so IT must make sure they have a safe and secure way to connect to the company network and get the messages, documents and other data they need.

Also, the amount of extra work people are putting in should get managers’ attention. Efficiency is great, but too much work can lead to stress and burnout, which are already big problems in many IT departments. If necessary, it may be a good time to take a look at employees’ workloads to make sure everything is appropriately distributed.