Mobile Workers Working Longer, Sleeping And Exercising Less - InformationWeek
Mobile // Mobile Devices
10:13 AM
Moving UEBA Beyond the Ground Floor
Sep 20, 2017
This webinar will provide the details you need about UEBA so you can make the decisions on how bes ...Read More>>

Mobile Workers Working Longer, Sleeping And Exercising Less

Are you always connected? Is vacation just working in a more exotic location? If so, you're not alone, according to a new survey.

Mobile workers' "hyperconnectivity," where they are always connected to work through their mobile devices, is affecting their physical and mental health. According to an iPass survey of 2,300 people from 1,100 companies worldwide, mobile workers on average sleep and exercise less due to the constant demands of their job, and expect to suffer emotionally if they don't have their smartphone. They no longer have down time that might have come from their commute or simply being at home.

"What we're finding with mobile employees is that work isn't a place that you go to. It's something that you do," said Kate Blatt, director of communications for iPass, and one of the authors of the survey. "Vacation is work from a more exotic location."

First E-Mail Check Of The Day When do you first check e-mail in the morning?

More than 62% of respondents sleep seven or fewer hours a night, and 23% sleep six or fewer hours a night. Fifty-two percent said their mobile work habits affected their sleep. Nearly 5% sleep fewer than five hours a night.

William Parker, a helpdesk analyst in New York, often takes his work home with him by connecting back to the office. He gets fewer than five hours of sleep a night, sneaking in cat naps during the work week.

"I get all my rest on Friday," Parker said." [I] go to bed around 6 p.m. and will wake up around 7 a.m. Saturday.

Though Parker's case might be extreme, it illustrates the increasing pressure information workers are under. Mobile devices have created an implicit set of expectations for today's mobile workforce who--according to the study--are working more than ever. On average, they're working 240 hours more a year than the workforce in general, or nearly five hours more a week. The reason for so little sleep just might be their mobile devices themselves. More than 45% of mobile users sleep within arm's reach of their smartphone.

Fifty-six percent of mobile workers exercise erratically or not at all. Sixty percent of those who don't exercise blamed work, with more than a fifth of respondents citing lack of time.

Of the 59% of mobile employees who said they would have an emotional response to being without their smartphone, 52% said it would affect them adversely. Of those, 42% would feel "disoriented," 34% would feel "distraught," and 10% would feel "lonely".

So far, the stress from hyperconnectivity of the mobile worker is not reaching a tipping point or causing backlash. In fact, on average, the survey found the mobile employee is generally happier than employees who do not work out of the office. Moreover, people might be learning how to draw the line between work and leisure. "Last year people said, 'I never disconnect from technology unless I'm in a dead zone. I'm always connected. I sleep with my smart phone,'" said Blatt. "[Now] in Q3, people are saying they set aside specific times when they disconnect, [for] a family dinner, when they go to the theater. There are a lot of specific times when people are disconnecting."

Blatt reasoned that things are going to start moving back to the center where people will set aside time to disconnect. But this moderation might not last; perhaps due to the recession, employees are going to be motivated to work more hours to show their productivity and keep their jobs, even at the expense of their health.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll