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Mobile Burnout

These days, work doesn’t have to stop when you leave the office–and that’s a mixed blessing, according to participants in a survey released last week by communications networking company Avaya. In the survey, 85 percent of respondents said they use…
July 6, 2004

These days, work doesn’t have to stop when you leave the office–and that’s a mixed blessing, according to participants in a survey released last week by communications networking company Avaya. In the survey, 85 percent of respondents said they use mobile technology such as cell phones, laptops, and wireless PDAs to remain accessible to co-workers at night, on the weekends and on vacation. Some 76 percent said they regularly retrieve messages during their time off. While you might expect that the new communications technologies make professionals more efficient, 61 percent of the survey’s 300 respondents said they actually spend more time working every week thanks to their mobile devices. (For 17 percent, the work week had swelled by 5 hours or more!)

Obviously, workers are paying a personal price for their newfound connectivity. More than half of the respondents said they sometimes feel “overwhelmed by pervasive communications,” and among that group, 93 percent reported a “negative effect on quality of life.” Avaya sponsored the study as a way to show that businesses need help effectively managing the communications channels among workers.

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