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Are smartphones turning people into workaholics?

Research in Britain has found that our all-encompassing magical devices are “doing us in” by adding an average of two hours work per day. Even though smartphones are supposed to make life easier, it also seems to turn us into workaholics.

As reported by The Daily Mail, research by technology retailer Pixmania states that Britons are increasing their amount of work hours per year by as much as 460 hours, as mobile phones and devices enable them to respond to emails while not being at work. Smartphones and devices that have email enabled are owned by almost 90% of employees, and they access these email services almost 20 times per day.

The average working day is between nine and 10 hours, yet employees are spending an additional two hours a day sending and responding to emails and work related material. About one in 10 admits to spending three hours or more outside of work hours checking work emails. Some have said that they are on call 24 hours a day with nine out of 10 saying they frequently take work related calls outside of normal working hours. Almost two thirds check emails and messages before going to bed. A third said they have replied to emails in the middle of the night.

“The ability to access literally millions of apps, keep in contact via social networks and take photos and video as well as text and call has made smartphones invaluable for many people,” said marketing director of Pixmania Ghadi Hobeika. “However, there are drawbacks. Many companies expect their employees to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and smartphones mean that people literally cannot get away from work. The more constantly in contact we become, the more is expected of us in a work capacity.”

A separate study by TripAdvisor found that over half of us will check work emails every day or make phone calls to the office on holiday, and work addiction is increased by technologies such as mobile internet access.

Image: Bigthink

Author | Stephan Lourens

Stephan Lourens
Born 20 years too early. Curses sometimes. Thinks too much. Believes plug-and-play is the best invention ever. If asked what he wants for his birthday he will say a gadget, then money. So he can go buy a gadget. More