Despite studies showing that working outside office hours leads to more stress, a majority of employees (62%) still choose to stay connected to the office outside of the required hours by choice.
In fact, according to a survey by CareerBuilder, 63% of more than 1,000 employees polled believe that working nine to five is an outdated concept.
More than five out of 10 (54%) of them still check work emails during non-work related activities.
Half of these employees admit to checking or responding to work emails outside of work and 38% say that their work continues even when outside the office.
While many might blame this behaviour on the increasingly connected nature of today’s workforce, the report proves otherwise.
The survey found that just because the office – or the blackberry – is out of sight, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s out of mind.
20% of those polled said that the last thing on their mind before they go to bed is work and 42% said that it is also the first thing that comes to their mind when they wake up.
In addition, 17% of respondents also admitted that leisure activities were tough to enjoy as their minds are constantly occupied by thoughts of work.
When broken down by gender, men were more likely than women to work outside of office hours (44% vs 32%); check or respond to work emails outside of work (59% vs 42%); and check on work activities while they are out with friends and family (30% vs 18%).
However, women were more likely to go to bed thinking about work (23% vs 16%).
“Workers want more flexibility in their schedules, and with improvements in technology that enable employees to check in at any time, from anywhere, it makes sense to allow employees to work outside the traditional nine-to-five schedule,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder.
“Moving away from a nine-to-five work week may not be possible for some companies (yet), but if done right, allowing employees more freedom and flexibility with their schedules can improve morale, boost productivity and increase retention rates.”