Smartphones Add Hours to the Work Week


We often assume smartphones make our lives easier. We can check urgent e-mails, find nearby restaurants and conduct internet research from almost any location, at any hour. Gone are the days when American workers could only check their business-related e-mails from a large computer tower and monitor at the office.

New research shows that Americans are working more because of the availability of smartphone technology. A new survey conducted by Good Technology reveals that over 80 percent of American workers continue to work on their smartphones after they leave the office.

On average, these workers put in about 365 hours of unofficial overtime each year. Even more shockingly, many of the 1,000 workers who were polled in the survey felt that they had no choice but to continue working after hours in order to please clients and customers.

It seems that this type of overtime work has become an accepted staple of American life. The survey also found that only about a quarter of the participants felt their extra work time affected their personal relationships or caused overt disagreements.

MSNBC points out that work creeps into each and every corner of many working Americans lives. They report that, “50 percent of full-time workers with a smartphone are checking their work e-mail while they are still in bed, and 69 percent won’t go to sleep without checking their work e-mail.”

Smartphones have not only lengthened the average work week by seven extra hours but they can also cause reckless and obsessive behavior. Time Magazine points out that about a quarter of smartphone users check their devices while they are behind the wheel. Surprisingly, nearly 40 percent of users check their phone while on the toilet as well!

Those who use their devices relentlessly have recently been dubbed “smartphonatics.” The amount of people in this category sits at a cool 20 percent in the United States and hardly any respondents seemed concern with the security of personal information contained on their smartphones.

Despite this lack of concern about privacy, personal and pertinent information stored on these devices leave many workers vulnerable to identity theft and attack. PC Magazine points out that downloading any type of app or update can allow any number of breaks in security to occur.

Smartphones have undoubtedly changed the way business is conducted in the United States, and has apparently also changed the way we go to bed, wake up and connect with others. As technology becomes more widely available and refined, these trends do not look as though they will decrease.


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J.L. A.
JL A.3 years ago

wish there was content about how much of it is because of employer and/or bosses' expectations that overtime rules do not apply to this type of work?

Navpreet K.
Navpreet K.3 years ago

I believe that our society has a growing dependence on technolgy. It isn't surpirsing that people are working more hours through smartphones. Everything that we let technology do for us is taking away a piece of us.

Tiffany B.
Tiffany B.3 years ago

So no time off from the office...

Jason Waldo
Past Member 3 years ago

Ask yourself this, if I put in all this overtime for the benefit of the employer, will that employer then take care of me in retirement. Before answering yes out of hand, look at the last 30 years of alterations to retirement plans. Going from a guaranteed payment each month after you retire to a payment that fluctuates with the markets and goes away if the company goes belly up, to no payment at all since you've been layed off or fired a few months before you reach retirement age and therefor no longer qualify. Corporations no longer deserve employee loyalty since the corporation has no loyalty to the employees that make their existence possible.

Michael Maday
Michael Maday3 years ago

So our phones are getting smarter, but we obviously are not!

John Mansky
John Mansky3 years ago

Thank you for the nice article. I also don't have one,don't want one...

Linda Wallace
Linda Wallace3 years ago

Oh and computers were suppose to save us work too.

Prentise W.
pre,tpse w.3 years ago

Don't have one; don't want one.

Kamryn M.
Kay M.3 years ago

sad but not surprising. I agree with Abbe A

Abbe A.
Azaima A.3 years ago

It takes effort to make yourself unavailable.