Mobile technology is creating a ‘grey area’ between people’s work and personal lives, with managers spending an average of 2.5 hours a week – adding up to three weeks over the course of a year – doing extra reading and research for their jobs.
Research by the CMI has shown that the boom in smartphones has led to an increased crossover between managers’ personal and professional lives, with 49% checking their emails just before going to sleep at night and 22% admitting to monitoring work emails whilst out socialising with friends.
Many of those surveyed also gave up time outside of work to spend on their professional development, reading industry news or attending work-related events and training. 59% of the managers surveyed visited work-related websites in their own time, with 12% using social media for work and 9% using smartphone apps related to their jobs.
CMI chief executive, Ruth Spellman, says: “It’s clear managers are voluntarily indulging in certain work-related activities before and after work, as well as at weekends. This doesn’t mean they are actually doing their day-to-day job outside of office hours, it’s more about keeping up to date with news on the industry sector they work in, monitoring emails and making time for activities related to professional development such as reading books or magazines.
It’s very important that people keep an eye on how much of their free time they spend dipping into the world of work – maintaining a good work-life balance is vital. However, these aren’t activities people really consider as ‘work’, some are doing it because they genuinely enjoy their job and take an interest in their work more widely than their specific role.”
Do you spend a lot of your own time on work-related activities? Have smartphones and other mobile technology increased this? Do you do this voluntarily, or is it required or expected of you?