Ever-advancing technology means work emails and files are easily accessible, and communication with colleagues is just a few taps away via social networks or internal work intranet platforms. While some enjoy the luxury of leaving the office and not giving work a second thought until the following morning, many workers struggle to switch off after their hours are done for the day.

With alerts always popping up on your phone from your linked work email account, it’s difficult to not have a nosey while relaxing in front of the telly, instead of waiting till the next day - it could be really important, right?

According to the CIPD Halogen Employee Outlook report, two-fifths of 2,000 surveyed UK workers admit to actively checking their work accounts at least five times a day outside of working hours, and 32% feel that having easy mobile access to the workplace means they can’t switch off to enjoy their times of leisure.

The survey also zoomed in into separate sectors:
  • 47% of workers in the private sector - office or retail workers for example - say they’re able to switch off from work at the end of the day.
  • Public sector workers are less likely to be able to switch off, with only 35% saying they leave work at work - this makes sense for occupations like doctors or politicians.
  •  Only 29% of workers in the voluntary sector say they can switch off, likely to be due to their work being something they’re passionate about, e.g. charity work.

The report also revealed the positives of mobile access to work, with 30% of all employees saying it made them feel empowered, and over half saying they find it helps with work flexibility. Mobile access to work could arguably allow for efficient preparation, freedom and increased productivity - a third said it made them more productive.

Chief People Officer at Halogen software Dominique Jones comments:

“Technology makes it easier than ever to connect people and teams in an organisation, whether they’re in the physical workplace or not, so each individual understands how their work is contributing towards the goals that matter to them and the organisation.

“Organisations should focus on providing employees with the tools and resources to access what they need, when they need it, to improve their performance. Those that enable progress on goals, and feedback and development, will be better positioned to help people perform at their best and help move the business forward.”

Whether you’ll glance at an email or get ahead of tomorrow’s to-do list, sometimes it’s difficult to take your mind off work, but rest time is just as important as the hours in the office. Ultimately, whether mobile work access is a positive thing or a negative thing depends on the individual and personal working preferences. Do you work only in your set hours? Or are you one who struggles to disconnect from work after-hours?

Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer intern.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with an English A -Level and love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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