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Study: Americans are working more, but on their own schedule

Professionals now live with a smartphone attached to their palm, making voluntary overtime the new norm.

workaholic

workaholic

Most Americans now voluntarily work overtime

Today, as a business professional, you can check back in to your work accounts whenever you feel the need or desire. You can check your email, respond to messages, and even return calls from customers, no matter where you are. While checking in outside of traditional office hours is common and normal these days, it has almost become expected by employers. No longer is your personal life simply that. Chances are, your professional life has slowly—or not so slowly—seeped into your home life. Even so, know that you’re not alone.

[ba-pullquote align=”right”]The study found that 80% of professionals log an extra seven hours of work per week, just from checking email outside of work.[/ba-pullquote]Good Technology recently conducted a study about how work and personal lives have blended for modern professionals. The study found that 80% of professionals log an extra seven hours of work per week, just from checking email outside of work.

About 68% of professionals check emails before eight in the morning and can’t go to bed without first checking it. One reason Good Technology found for professionals logging such long hours is that over 30% of those surveyed don’t know how to or find it extremely difficult to “switch off” from their professional duties.

The “always on” mobile environment

One problem this brings up is security, which is essential to big corporations and small businesses alike. The Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy for Good Technology, John Herrema, said, “In today’s ‘always on’ mobile environment, secure access to corporate email and apps is a ‘must have’ vs. a ‘nice to have’ for nearly all companies.“

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[ba-pullquote align=”right”]When you can find that balance, you’ll be more productive and successful in all facets of your life.[/ba-pullquote]When companies have the needed security, security that also allows convenient accessibility, both the professional and the company benefit. Businesses understand that employees need to feel secure when accessing private or sensitive information, and the proper security can encourage more work outside of the office.

Being accessible as a professional makes bosses happy and customers ecstatic. It can improve business and strengthen a brand’s reputation. Herrema went on to say, “While most of our customers believe their employees do more work hours as a result of this accessibility, they also appreciate and welcome the enhanced work-life balance that comes when employees have more freedom and choice to get work done whenever and wherever they need to –whether that’s in the office, on the road, or while sitting in the stands at the child’s baseball game.”

But in order to promote a healthy professional and personal life, it is important to find balance between work and non-work time. While it’s great that you can stay on top of work while at home, find ways to disconnect every once in a while and enjoy your family and your down time. When you can find that balance, you’ll be more productive and successful in all facets of your life.

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Written By

The American Genius Staff Writer: Charlene Jimenez earned her Master's Degree in Arts and Culture with a Creative Writing concentration from the University of Denver after earning her Bachelor's Degree in English from Brigham Young University in Idaho. Jimenez's column is dedicated to business and technology tips, trends and best practices for entrepreneurs and small business professionals.

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