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New Survey on Email Overload Shows There Is No Such Thing as a Day Off for Americans and Brits

Thu, 09/02/2010 - 7:56am
SAN FRANCISCO, /PRNewswire/ -- Xobni, the creators of a popular Microsoft Outlook add-in that helps people more effectively manage their email and business relationships, today announced the results from an August online survey conducted on its behalf by Harris Interactive (in U.S.) and Opinion Matters (in UK) detailing workers' views on work email.

The surveys show that the typical 9 to 5 work day no longer exists as workers in America and the U.K. regularly check email outside of normal business hours, including on vacation, weekends, sick days and even when they are in bed at home, in order to stay on top of their over-flowing inboxes.

With the down economy and the advent of mobile email on smartphones, workers are overwhelmed with email and feel compelled to work longer hours to keep up with their jobs. The survey found that roughly two out of three Americans (72 percent) and Brits (68 percent) who check their email outside of regular business hours do so while on vacation, when they are taking time off, on a weekend and/or on another non-work day.

But the two countries are far different when it comes to sick days: 42 percent of Americans who check work email outside of business hours shared that they check emails when they are home sick compared to only 25.8 percent of British professionals checking their email while out sick. Working men in America are guiltier of emailing during off hours with 65 percent of those who have work email sharing that they do so versus 51 percent of their female counterparts.

Workers now feel more compelled to check email outside of work to keep up and advance their careers. More than one quarter (27 percent) of Americans and a fifth of Brits (20 percent) who check email outside of business hours do so because they feel they are expected to provide quick responses, even outside regular business hours.

Additionally, 37 percent of Americans are afraid to go without checking their email because they might miss something important compared to 45 percent who have the same worry in the U.K. Many Americans who check work email outside of regular business hours (43 percent) do so in order to ease their workload and 18 percent feel the need to check email outside of work hours in order to have a successful career.

Neither U.S. nor British workers emailed outside of regular business hours to impress their boss/colleagues with a mere 5 percent admitting to doing so.

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