Survey Reveals Personal E-mail Use at Work

June 28, 2005 ( - America Online (AOL), partnering with Opinion Research Corporation, conducted a survey that showed 61% of e-mail users who are employed outside the home check their personal e-mail at work, three times a day on the average.

A report of the survey of over 4,000 people over 18 in 20 cities across the country also revealed when and how often employees check their personal e-mail:

  • 47% sporadically throughout the day
  • 25% first thing when they arrive at work
  • 18% at lunchtime
  • 8% during an afternoon break
  • 2% right before heading home.

The survey also looked at gender trends for personal e-mail use at work, showing that, of the 20% who report feeling guilty about sending personal e-mails from the job site, 27% were women compared to 13% of men. Nine percent of those who check personal e-mail at work reported having been caught by their boss.

The focus of the survey was not just on the job personal e-mail use. In general the results showed that users rely on e-mail as much as the phone for communication, and 77% of them have more than one e-mail account. Twenty six percent say they can’t go more than two to three days without checking it, and users report checking it any place, including at the beach (6%), in the bathroom (4%), while driving (4%), and at church (1%).

-Rebecca Moore