Gadgets Open the Door for "Homework"

June 24, 2002 ( - The ability to stay connected to the office via electronic gadgetry has spurred nine out of ten Americans to take work home with them, a new poll found.

Some 93% of respondents to the latest “America at Work” poll, commissioned by the Employment Law Alliance, said they spend some time away from the office answering work-related e-mail, voice mail, pagers or some other electronic form of work-related communication.

Of those workers, only 20% said they received some payment for their work while 53% said they were not paid at all. Some 20% of the workers surveyed said their employer’s compensation policies for working outside the office “take advantage” of them.

The survey results also show that:

  • 19% are not compensated for the extra time worked because they chose not to ask for either overtime or compensatory time,
  • 5% are not compensated directly, but receive some benefit for that extra time worked, such as extra time off, and
  • 20% believe that their employers are “taking advantage” of them through their current compensation policies

The latest “America At Work” public opinion survey, covered 1,000 men and women in  “non-exempt” employees – those whose work hours are legally regulated and who are entitled to overtime compensation. The poll was fielded conducted within the past two weeks.