Handheld Devices: Savior from Work Stress?

May 15, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Even though the traditional wisdom holds that Blackberry jockeys actually hate their devices as a corporate leash, a new survey indicated that may not be true.

A news release about a survey taken forYahoo! HotJobs said 37% of employees feel more relaxed when they are connected to work by a wireless device, and another 42% are indifferent about their wireless gizmos.

Of those surveyed, 18% admit to being reprimanded for having bad manners when it comes to their wireless device. This behavior extends in and out of work with another 39% saying that they respond almost instantaneously when they receive a professional e-mail or call outside of business hours.

“The gravity of leaving the house without your wireless device has become synonymous with that of leaving your keys at home, if not worse,” explained Tom Musbach, managing editor of Yahoo! HotJobs, in the news release. “As the wireless device becomes more ubiquitous for personal and professional reasons, many employees develop a psychological need for constant connection. While this connection can be a positive from a professional standpoint, it’s important to remember that the use of wireless devices needs to be managed and certain missteps avoided.”

With 38% of respondents describing their wireless device as a necessity, these gadgets have become more integrated into workplace culture:

  • The majority, 55%, use more than one wireless device to stay connected outside of work;
  • More than half, 55%, of respondents say that their office supports a virtual workplace culture allowing employees to choose from where they’d like to work;
  • 28% of respondents say having the freedom of remote access via a wireless device helps them work more effectively than when they are in the office; and
  • Almost one quarter of survey respondents admit to only putting their wireless device down when they are sleeping, while only 5% of respondents admit to being 100% offline when not in the office – down from 8% last year.

Data was collected from more than 1,465 currently employed professionals in the United States who use a wireless device to stay connected to work. The survey was distributed via an online survey questionnaire across the Yahoo! and HotJobs networks. Fifty-four percent of respondents were male and 46% were female.