An always-connected workforce? Absolutely, in moderation, say employees


As the American workforce becomes ever-connected, most employees generally accept the notion that they can work anywhere or anytime. However, while workers have the ability to always be in touch with their employers, that doesn't mean they want to be.

According to new research from Gallup, nearly eight in 10 (79 percent) of U.S. employees are upbeat about using their personal computers and mobile devices to stay connected to their workplace outside of normal working hours. But like everything in life, moderation is the key.

Gallup surveyed 3,865 full-time workers from March 24-April 8 to learn about their remote work habits during non-working hours. The polling firm found that "while a strong majority of working Americans view the ability to work off-hours remotely in a positive light, far fewer say they regularly connect with work online after hours. Slightly more than one-third (36 percent) say they frequently do so, compared with 64 percent who say they occasionally, rarely, or never do."

The polling firm noted that the "relatively low percentage" of workers who check in frequently outside of working hours matches the percentage of workers who say they are expected to check email and stay in touch remotely after hours by their employer (cited by 33 percent).

Regardless of individual worker habits, the majority of those surveyed (81 percent) said that being remotely connected to work was a good thing overall.

Among other Gallup findings:

  • Males are slightly more likely than females (40 percent vs. 31 percent) to check email outside of working hours
  • Millennials are the most likely to check email after hours (cited by 38 percent), followed by Generation X (37 percent), and Baby Boomers (33 percent)
  • Higher to highest paid employees are more likely to check work email after hours
  • The more educated (college degree or higher) an employee is the more likely he or she is to check work email on personal time

"While about one-third of employees currently say they frequently check email after work, that a clear majority of workers feel positive about the ability to do so is encouraging for employers looking for more ways to integrate mobile devices into the way companies work," Gallup noted.

"Given that those who frequently check messages away from work also log twice as many hours remotely as those who occasionally, rarely, or never check email out of the office, enabling more employees to do so may play a role in increasing productivity," Gallup concluded.

For more:
- check out the Gallup report

Related Articles:
With Telework Week underway, timely study confirms employee and employer benefits
Another work-from-home program bites the dust
DC-area teleworkers saving $90m 4 hours a week