Technology: Brits Didn't Go Off-Line This Xmas

A survey by Demon Broadband revealed that many Britons were engaged with technology rather than being under the mistletoe this Christmas gone, as we spent on average 10 hours worth of work related internet time while on the festive break! We are becoming a nation of work obsessed internet addicts and the survey found that advances made in remote access was encouraging workers to log-on and work from home more regularly. Of those asked in the survey four in ten said they would log on more regularly due to better access to work from home.

Other statistics reveal that 61 percent of workers admitted that they would be working at home at some point over Christmas. Worryingly many admitted to working similar office hours from home. Matt Cantwell, the head of Demon Broadband said that advances made in technology were helping maintain the balance between work and family and went on to say, “We can see from our research that new technologies, such as smartphones and faster internet connections, are allowing more people to work from home when they need to...while these technologies can mean we’re constantly connected they also give us the much needed flexibility to keep on top of our work without having to disrupt family life by leaving for the office".

What this mean is that many of us who would have once have previously kept our holidays free from work at home, are now instead using remote access. While, the smartphone has also impacted on the Christmas holidays of British workers where the 'always on, always connected' nature of current generation smartphones meant work emails were inescapable, with few having the courage to turn the handset off entirely.

Ernest Doku of comparison site USwitch.com says, "While many feel that they are being productive in replying to these messages when away from the desk, the reality is that we can neither focus on relaxing or attending to business by compulsively checking mail all of the time. Something as simple as adding an ‘Out of Office’ signature to your account with a forwarding phone number leaves you reachable, but filters out those less pertinent messages easily."

However, for some of us the constant need to check office emails is becoming an addiction of the technology age. The importance of separating work from family life is becoming far harder to maintain with a smartphone in our hands and in our pockets. Research suggests we are becoming obsessed with the need to be connected. So, if you are checking work e-mails every five minutes while your turkey was being carved up may be you should think about your New Year’s resolution for work and family life balance. Harder said than done I know!

Photo Credit:Alice Popkorn