Wireless Devices Good and Bad in Work/Life Balance

April 4, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Fewer than 10% of those responding to a recent poll about how they mix their work and home lives admit to being completely offline when they are out of the office.

A Yahoo! HotJobs news release about its survey reported that a scant 8% said they turned all their electronic communications devices off when they crossed the threshold at home. Meanwhile, 27% said their wireless device is only off when they are in slumberland.

Three-quarters of respondents said they use their wireless device equally for work and personal reasons.

“Wireless devices are powerful communications tools,” says Susan Vobejda, vice president of marketing at Yahoo! HotJobs, in the news release. “While they were intended to provide convenience and flexibility for workers’ lives, they have changed the physical parameters of the workplace and extended the work day. Professionals can work from anywhere and connect at any time.”

Nearly half (47%) of the professionals surveyed reported that they volunteered their “virtual” accessibility for work purposes with little external influence. Eighty-one percent stay in touch with a mobile phone, 65% use a laptop and a growing 19% have adopted smartphones – full-featured mobile phones with personal computer-like functionality, according to the announcement.

Of survey respondents:

  • 61% agree that wireless devices make them feel like they have more freedom;
  • 65% say wireless devices allow them to work remotely and have a more flexible schedule;
  • 48% report that wireless devices allow them to spend more time with family and friends; and
  • 70% agree that they are more productive thanks to a wireless device.

But all the sentiments were not positive.While the majority of survey respondents had favorable reactions to the value wireless devices offer, they also expressed the challenges of remaining constantly connected:

  • 26% of respondents feel that wireless devices keep them on a permanent corporate leash;
  • 23% say that they are easily distracted by work-related e-mails and calls during personal time; and
  • 33% find it more difficult to get their point across through electronic communication than a live conversation.

Data was collected from more than 900 office professionals who use wireless devices via an online survey questionnaire across the Yahoo! network. Respondents to the survey represent all 50 states. Sixty-five percent of respondents were male and thirty-five percent were female.