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Employers reaping benefits of flexible working

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The average UK worker now puts in more than three weeks of overtime a year –
just by answering calls and emails at home, a new study reveals.

In a survey of UK working adults sponsored by Good Technology 93 per cent of people continue working when they have left the office – for a total of three hours and 31 minutes each week. That’s a total of 15 hours a month or 183 hours a year – the equivalent of 23 extra working days a year. But while half do it simply to stay organised, 20 per cent want to impress the boss by putting in the extra hours. A further 37 per cent reply to work, emails in bed to keep on top of things. But they’re also using their mobiles to mix work and their personal life in ways never seen before.

In a nod to the UK’s changing work environment, 38 per cent of the 1,000 randomly selected workers polled believe their job would now be impossible without mobile access to work email. Most people are consolidating their devices and many use the same phone for personal and work use – currently 15 per cent of people are still carrying separate personal and work phones. Andy Jacques General Manager of EMEA for mobile security software company Good Technology, says: ”There was a time when it was difficult to continue working outside of the office without carrying a laptop. But with today’s ‘always on’ society, people are pretty much working from the moment they wake up until the moment they fall asleep. While most of our customers believe their employees do work more hours as a result of this accessibility, they also appreciate and welcome the enhanced work-life balance that comes when employees have more freedom and choice as to where and when they get their work done. Smartphones and tablets have made it much easier to be able to work on the move, and that’s helping people choose when and where to get things done.

At the school gate, on the train or in the queue at the coffee shop, this new wave of connected device is enabling people to be more productive than ever before. ”Today, many businesses are allowing employees to use their personal phones for work. In fact, 42 per cent of the people we surveyed are using the same phone for work and personal activity, which means that they are now carrying around not only sensitive corporate information, but irreplaceable personal data on the same device.”

The study also revealed that 66 percent of people check their work emails before 7.00 a.m. The average UK worker checks their phone at 6:51 a.m. More than a third of people confess that they respond to work mails from bed. 61 percent use their commute to read and reply to work emails. The work day is getting longer – 15 percent still respond to work email after 10 p.m. 65 percent don’t go to sleep until they’ve had a final check of work emails. 33 per cent can’t get through Saturday morning without checking their work email 29 per cent routinely check work emails whilst at the dinner table; another 16 per cent report actually replying to work emails during their evening meal, 38 percent now think their job would be impossible without mobile email. 15 percent of UK workers even carry two phones – one for work, one for personal use; 42 per cent use the same device for both work and personal activity. Andy Jacques of Good Technology, added: “This research clearly highlights just how important smartphones and tablets are becoming to the UK workforce. Employees are increasingly needed to be able to access company email wherever they are, on whatever device they choose and at any time. The challenge to IT departments is to ensure that workers can do this easily without putting company information at risk.”

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