Mobile technology is being blamed for adding an extra three weeks to the average working year, with managers increasingly switching to work related activities in their leisure time, according to new research.Figures show an average 2.5 hours a week (three working weeks per year) spent by managers on top of their usual working week researching, reading or learning for work in their own time, creating a ‘grey area’ between personal and professional lives, claims the research.
The Chartered Management Institute in the UK commissioned the survey of 2000 adult workers which revealed the extent to which being able to access work away from the office is impacting managers’ lives.
Almost half (49 percent) of managers using smartphones, laptops or tablets to work, check their emails just before going to sleep at night and 24 percent check them again before getting out of bed in the morning.
Social occasions are also not email free, with 22 percent of managers monitoring emails while socialising with friends and 9 percent when out on dates. Worryingly, 6 percent also report logging into work emails whilst driving.
The daily commute is also increasingly being utilised as an extension of the working day with 70 percent of managers using the time to conduct business activities.
During their commute, 21 percent of managers read work documents, 17 percent do work on laptops and 15 percent read work-related books.
Smartphone apps appear to be an emerging route for professional development with almost one in five (19 percent) managers reporting they would find a work-related app a useful way to digest information. At present, more non-managers own smartphone apps relevant to work than managers (16 percent compared to 10 percent).
The trend is likely to grow in the future as Gen Y, the next generation of managers, are the most likely age group to check emails first thing in the morning and last thing at night, work while commuting and use apps and social media for work-related purposes.
Richard Donkin, author of ‘The Future of Work’, commented:’As people increasingly seek out opportunities to marry satisfying pursuits with work by finding occupations that fulfil them, I believe we will see more people engaging in work-related activities outside of working hours, purely because it interests them.’