Survey: E-mail eats up your time off

Outlook add-in maker Xobni finds Americans and Britons are having trouble getting away from the workplace because of the reach e-mail has into their lives.


The 9-to-5 workday is dead. And so are vacations, sick days, and weekend relaxation, according to a new study from Outlook add-in maker Xobni.

According to the company, which in conjunction with Harris Interactive surveyed 2,200 American and British adult workers in August, 72 percent of Americans and 68 percent of Britons check e-mail outside of regular business hours. On sick days, 42 percent of Americans check their e-mail, compared with 25.8 percent of British workers.

Xobni also found that there is a gender divide when it comes to e-mail--that 65 percent of men surveyed check their e-mail outside of work hours, compared with 51 percent of women.

Workplace pressure also plays a role in a person's propensity to check e-mail. Xobni said that 27 percent of Americans and 20 percent of British workers check their e-mail when they're off-duty because they feel that "they are expected to provide quick responses, even outside regular business hours." In addition, 37 percent of Americans said that they don't want to miss an important e-mail, whereas 45 percent of British workers are concerned about missing something important.

The bedroom and vacations--supposedly the embodiment of relaxation--are also becoming places where employees are checking e-mail. Xobni said that 19 percent of Americans check and respond to e-mails while in bed. The study also found that people between the ages of 18 and 34 are twice as likely to check e-mail in bed as those between the ages of 35 and 54. A whopping 50 percent of Americans and 29 percent of British workers check their e-mail while on vacation.

For those overwhelmed by e-mail, Google this week unveiled Priority Inbox , a Gmail feature that allows users to separate e-mail into "important and unread," "starred," and "everything else" to help tame the overload.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.


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