Today, many workers in information technology, financial services, sales, professional and business services find themselves working outside of the traditional eight-hour time frame: 50 percent of these workers say they check or respond to work emails outside of work, and nearly 2 in 5 (38 percent) say they continue to work outside of office hours.
According to a new CareerBuilder survey, on more than 1,000 full-time workers in different industries conducted online by Harris Poll, discusses habits and attitudes of workers towards the traditional nine-to-five work day. 63 percent of workers believe “working nine to five” is an outdated concept, and a significant number have a hard time leaving the office mentally. Nearly 1 in 4 (24 percent) check work emails during activities with family and friends.
Though staying connected to the office outside of required office hours may seem like a burden, most of these workers (62 percent) perceive it as a choice rather than an obligation.
“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,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder.
See: Working 9-to-5 becoming a less popular way to make a living
Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind
But just because the office – or the blackberry – is out of sight, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s out of mind: 20 percent of these workers say work is the last thing they think about before they go to bed, and more than twice as many (42 percent) say it’s the first thing they think about when they wake up. Nearly 1 in 5 of these workers (17 percent) says they have a tough time enjoying leisure activities because they are thinking about work.
When it comes to working outside of traditional office hours, 31 percent of 18- to 24-year-old workers in information technology, financial services, sales, and professional and business services will work outside of office hours, compared to 50 percent of 45- to 54-year-old workers and 38 percent of workers ages 55 and above. Meanwhile, 52 percent of workers ages 18-24 check or respond to work emails outside of work, versus 46 percent of workers ages 55 and above.
Seventy percent of workers ages 55 and above say they stay connected to the office by choice, compared to 56 percent of workers ages 18-24 who say the same.
Younger workers are also more likely than older workers to think about work before going to bed (31 percent of workers ages 18-24 versus 11 percent of workers ages 55 and above), or wake up thinking about work (59 percent versus 31 percent).
Male workers are more likely than female workers to work outside of office hours (44 percent versus 32 percent); check or respond to work emails outside of work (59 percent versus 42 percent); and check on work activities while they are out with friends and family (30 percent versus 18 percent). Female workers, however, are more likely than male workers to go to bed thinking about work (23 percent versus 16 percent).
Also read: Working hours: Get a Life