A new YouGov research has found that there’s a widespread use of technology in the work place –but for non-work related communication.
The “Switching off- Technology and the Work-Life Balance” report focuses on technology re-shaping the relationship between work and leisure among workers. The study found that six in ten workers (60%) regularly or occasionally read/send personal texts. Half (50%) send/receive personal emails and almost half (46%) engage in personal phone calls during working hours.
Personal texting and emailing is higher among the under-40s than older workers. Employees in the 25-39 age group have the highest usage of personal texting (73%), personal emailing (60%) and personal phoning (50%) at work compared to the other age groups.
Although general personal web browsing is more widespread amongst all age groups, there is a clear distinction with online social networking. The report shows that three in ten workers (30%) visit social networking sites while at work. Out of all the workers who use social media, over half (52%) are under-25 compared to 25-39s (39%), 40 – 54s (26%) and 55+ (20%).
The research also suggests that women maintain clearer boundaries between work and leisure than men. Men are far more likely than women to engage in personal phone calls during the working day (60% versus 39%). Women are also more likely than men to engage in personal communication during their lunch break (45% versus 36%).
Although the majority of employees use technology at work for personal reasons, 51% say that it can cause a lot of time to be wasted and 49% say it can lead to conflicts with management/employers. However, 55% believe that using technology at work is great for keeping in contact with family and friends.
James McCoy, Research Director, YouGov Reports says “There was once a distinctive gap between ‘work’ and ‘life’; this gap is quickly closing because of the digital world that we live in. The rise of the smartphone has enabled employees to stay in touch with their personal lives whilst at work. Employers may need to be sensitive to changing attitudes towards technology in the workplace, whilst also insisting on a degree of concentration and productivity.”