Mobile Working Causes Shorter Working Days, But Longer Sleepless Nights

First the good news. Over half of the UK’s mobile workers (54 per cent) think blanket connectivity on the move would significantly shorten their working day. Now the bad news. The same people don’t believe it would improve their work/life balance. According to research carried out by Virgin Media Business, just one in ten (10 per cent) believe working less hours would improve the way they separate work and private lives.

By the end of 2012, 70 per cent of the UK is expected to have a smart device reliant on mobile connectivity. Because of this trend, employees believe increased mobile coverage would provide a secure link to the office to help access emails more easily (79 per cent) and deal with emergencies more quickly (46 per cent), but don’t think it would increase the likelihood of working from home more often (16 per cent).

Tony Grace, Chief Operating Officer of Virgin Media Business, said: “Mobile connections to the internet are getting better by the day. Commuters in London can now access WiFi under the streets of the city at multiple stations on the Underground network. In time, we’ll be able to check-in at the office, social networking sites, or simply contact friends and family everywhere we go.

“As the lines between our work and personal devices blur, the temptation is to never switch off and constantly check emails or work on a document. Because of this 24-hour demand for data on the move, we’ve seen the amount of data consumed on our network jump to 765 billion individual bits of data being transferred every second. This has smashed the previous mark for the Virgin Media Business network by more than a quarter (27 per cent).

“Even if we’re shortening our working days by working on the move, it’s actually creating a false economy if we’re constantly fretting over our smartphone throughout the day and night. The key is getting the balance right and enjoying the reassurance that if we do need to read an important email or deal with an emergency on the move, then we can.”

NOTE: 2,000 directors/business owners from companies with 100+ employees participated in the survey on 09 July 2012.

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Christian Harris is editor and publisher of BCW. Christian has over 20 years' publishing experience and in that time has contributed to most major IT magazines and Web sites in the UK. He launched BCW in 2009 as he felt there was a need for honest and personal commentary on a wide range of business computing issues. Christian has a BA (Hons) in Publishing from the London College of Communication.